Presenter Information

Miguel P. Flores C.M.


John P. Prager, C.M.


This article traces the role and status of brothers in the Congregation from its beginnings until the Constitutions of 1984 and beyond. Vincent de Paul considered brothers and priests full members of the Congregation. They were all missionaries. Although the brothers were to do the domestic tasks that supported the Congregation’s work, they were not limited to them. Over time, however, brothers did not have the same rights that priests and clerics had. A perception developed that they were second class. To remedy this, the General Assembly of 1963 said brothers should be prepared to do intellectual work, including teaching doctrine in missions and parishes. They were to have the same material rights as priests and participate more fully in each house’s common life. The Constitutions of 1968–1969 allowed brothers to be promoted to the permanent diaconate. The Constitutions of 1984 gave them the right to participate in all the Congregation’s assemblies and councils and placed no limits on the brothers’ tasks.