June 2017 – Oklahoma Province OCDS
Norms for Granting Infirm Status for members in First Promise
In Response to a Temporary Need
Cf. 2016 Statutes section VIII.5
Permanent infirm status is only for members who have made the Definitive Promise.
Temporary infirm status
If a member in First Promise is in a temporary medical situation, the local Council may grant Infirm status. The person would continue to be a member of the community for the sake of the love and support the person needs from his/her Carmelite family.
The temporary Promise would need to be renewed before it expires. Once the person is well enough, the Council would assess how much “catch up” the person needs and give an appropriate extension to formation.
If it becomes apparent that the person is unlikely to return to formation, the local Council would release the person from the Promise and the community, or allow the Promise to expire and remove the person from the community roster.
The local Council may choose to release such a member from First Promise rather than give temporary infirm status. Or the local Council may choose to release the member from First Promise, even after giving Infirm status, if it determines this would be in the best interests of the member and/or the community.
The Council may discern whether to readmit when the person is well enough to return to community life.
Recommendations (not binding)
Councils are expected to use their God-given common sense and good judgment. The Council should discern carefully the pros and cons of giving Infirm status to a member in First Promise.
On the one hand, releasing from the Promise and the community may feel like a rejection when the member is emotionally vulnerable and in need of loving support. On the other hand, the member may feel relief from not having to fulfill the requirements of the vocation during his illness and recovery. The good of the community, the good of the member, and realistic expectations are all to be taken into account.
The online document is the only one to be considered official.