The handbook of the Marcel Lefebvre Youth Group is designed to clarify the Constitution and outline the roles and responsibilities of the Leadership Group.
Section One - Name
The youth group is named the Marcel Lefebvre Youth Group in honour of and is placed under the protection of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.
Section Two - Motto
‘Prayer, Study and Action’
When commenting on Catholic Action, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre stated that according to the allocution of Pope St. Pius X on September 25th 1904, prayer, study and action was what the Pope wanted of Catholic Action. The Archbishop points out that Pope St Pius X asked that these three principles govern all Catholic action. “Prayer must come first, it is the truest principle of any Catholic Action. Prayer, one may say, envelopes study according to the principles of the Catholic Religion, and then comes the action that is commanded by prayer and study.” (Archbishop Lefebvre comments on the Papal Encyclicals, 1997).
While the Youth Group is not strictly Catholic Action it takes these three principles as its precept.
Coat of Arms
Symbolism: St Pius X and Marcel Lefebvre lion and teaching. SSPX Christian Warfare Cross. Marcel Lefebvres cross, instead of his 5 stars the stars of the southern cross have been used. Finally, St Michael the Ardchangel backs the banner.
Section Three - Spirit of the Youth Group
“Whatever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Col.3:17
Members will follow the example of our patron Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and will uphold and defend with pride traditional Catholic Church teachings. In doing so the group will be guided by the three principles stated by Pope Pius X regarding Catholic action - prayer, study and action. The spirit of the Youth Group is founded on the example set by Archbishop Lefebvre who had a firm conviction in the teachings of the church, an unwavering faith, even in tumultuous times, and the courage to do what was right. He spent a lifetime serving others through charitable work such as the missions in Africa and passed on the true faith through the SSPX. The spirit of the Youth Group is to emulate the deep Faith, zeal and charity exhibited by the Archbishop.
Section Four - Aims
“May you walk worthily of God and please him in all things bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.” Col. 1:10
The Youth Group's purpose is to help unify and support the youth of the SSPX. The aim is to foster a spirit of comradery and be a means by which youth can deepen their faith through prayer, education and good works. The Youth Group is one way in which youth can be encouraged to remain steadfast in their faith and lead others to the Faith through their good example. The Youth Group is also an agency through which youth can participate in works that are worthwhile and contribute to the support of the Church.
The youth group has three aims:
1. To strengthen and consolidate the Catholic Faith amongst youth.
To develop strong Catholic youth who know and appreciate their Catholic Faith and who have the ability to defend it through prayer. The Youth Group encourages attendance at parish devotions and the study of Catholic doctrine through talks and literature approved by the priest. The Youth Group also encourages charitable works and socializing with other young Catholics.
2. To increase a Catholic community spirit amongst the youth.
To provide ways in which Catholic youth can develop Catholic friendships and provide a welcoming space for young newcomers in the parish. To encourage the youth to continue coming to the SSPX Mass and to provide them with the opportunity to socialize with young people in the SSPX.
3. To offer practical help to the priests and the needy of the Parish in the spirit of Charity.
To assist the priests where needed. For example, church cleaning and painting, cooking and cleaning for the priests, volunteering to help the needy and raising funds for the priests or parish where appropriate. In addition, the Youth Group may run parish events and activities, such as picnics and parish social events.
Means by which the Aims are achieved:
"We put great confidence in the Holy Rosary for the healing of evils which afflict our times." Pope St Pius X
1. Strengthening the Faith of members through prayer and the study of Catholic Doctrine.
The means by which this will be attained include committing to three prayers each day: “The Rosary, Come Holy Ghost and St Michael's Prayer”. The regular reading of spiritual books approved by the priests. Individuals may be asked to give a brief report on books that they have read while at the same time receive an opportunity to ask for clarification on points not understood with other members of the youth group. Some events are to be focused on deepening the members understanding of the Faith, e.g talks by a priest, and book reports on material approved by the priest.
2. A monthly event which may have either a spiritual, charitable or social focus.
To assist with accomplishing the aims of the youth group, events will include but not be limited to conferences given by a priest, occasional book report meetings, designated time for attendance at Holy Hour, assisting the priests with work around the church and parish including but not limited to, church cleaning and painting, cooking and cleaning for the priests, volunteering to help the needy and raising funds where appropriate. Social events are to be designed to encourage people to socialize with other Catholics and to build a sense of Catholic morale within the youth of the parish.
While it is inadvisable to miss holding the monthly event it is permissible to do so for a good reason. The monthly event is crucial to fostering a community spirit amongst the youth, therefore not holding an event for superfluous reasons is contrary to the spirit and aims of the Youth Group.
3.The encouragement and promotion of attendance at Parish devotions, e.g Benediction, Holy Hours, Catechism, Weekday Mass.
Members are encouraged to attend extra parish devotions eg. monthly Holy Hour can be attended at a time allotted for Youth Group members. Members will be reminded of events such as Catechism and Benediction or extra devotions that occur from time to time such as public rosaries. It is recognised that members have other commitments such as work and study and therefore it is understandable if a member is unable to attend extra devotions.
4.The encouragement of youth to socialise within the Parish circle and the welcoming of young newcomers of the Parish.
Members are encouraged to attend all Youth Group events. Members are encouraged to approach others, especially new members of the parish, and discuss with them the opportunities that joining the Youth Group presents.
5. By encouraging charitable works.
Within the leadership group of the Youth Group the task of the “Liaison Officer” is to ask the priests of any work that needs to be accomplished. The “Liaison Officer” can also obtain the priest's advice on parish members that may be struggling, this person can approach parishioners who may need help, such as the elderly needing a lift to church, fundraising for parishioners who are financially struggling, and cleaning and cooking for those that may require it. Concerns or issues raised by the priest or “Liaison Officer” will be considered at the monthly leadership meeting and assistance given where appropriate. Confidentiality concerning individuals that need help should be observed. Members of the youth group will be approached and delegated tasks by the leadership group based on their availability. Tasks that the Youth Group might undertake as a charitable work could include working bees at the Church, running and organising parish events and fundraising.
Members must be Catholics who attend an SSPX Mass, aged between 18-40 (inclusively), and who are unmarried.
Expectations include obeying rules and behaving appropriately at all Youth Group endorsed events.
Interpretation of the Constitution
If there is any ambiguity in this constitution the president is to consult the Priest and may consult previous presidents (if applicable). Presidents are to keep in mind the spirit and aims of the youth group when arriving at a decision.
Amendment of this Constitution
This constitution and definitions of terms may not be unnecessarily modified in any way. If the amendment is absolutely necessary it may be done only after consultation with the priest. The amendment is to be signed by the current president and the priest.
The rules may not be changed or modified. However, additional rules may be added if it is deemed necessary by the priest and president.
- All members are expected to recite the Rosary, Come Holy Ghost prayer and the St. Michael Prayer daily for the intention of all Youth Group members.
- Attendance at all monthly events is assumed. An apology will be accepted if a member is unable to attend an event.
- The Youth Group name cannot be used to endorse, promote or advertise without express permission from the President.
- The Youth Group is primarily a spiritual organisation for the Youth of the SSPX and as such does not support any political party or political viewpoint. Politics can never become part of the Youth Group.
- Reminders and encouragement to attend Parish devotions can only be published on a Youth Group platform by the President or person nominated by the President to do so.
The Youth Group will bank all finances into a Bank account set up under the name of the Marcel Lefebvre Youth Group. The treasurer will be responsible for all funds and keeping an accurate record of income and expenditures. The Youth Group will fundraise for the needs of the Youth Group to assist with costs of running events.
All members of the leadership group should set a positive example for other members of the Youth Group, by upholding the spirit of the Youth Group and abiding by all the rules. They should also be discreet about sensitive information that they might learn in connection with the Youth Group, such as families that need financial help, the Priest and President can ask that the Leadership Group maintain complete discretion about a subject. The members of the leadership group need to attend a monthly meeting organised by the president and secretary to discuss past events and future events for the Youth Group. They must perform the duties that their role outlines. They will hold their position for one term (one year), they may be re-appointed into the same position or another position within the leadership group.
The leadership group should have at all times a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The Assistant Treasurer, Marketing officer, Liaison officer and Assistants can be permanent members of the leadership team or utilised as the president determines, depending on the needs of the Youth Group.
- Priest: The Youth Group is under the direct supervision of a priest designated by the Prior of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Oxley.
- President: Is ultimately responsible for the Youth Group, they are required to uphold and defend the Youth Group constitution. They are to run meetings and organise appropriate events for the youth group. They should be the main person to liaise with the priest on Youth Group matters and delegate members of the youth group to different tasks.
- Vice President: Assists and supports the president in their role, they also keep account of youth group members attendance at events and consult with the secretary on the membership database.
- Secretary: The secretary’s primary duties are to notify the leadership group of up and coming meetings, they will themselves be present at all monthly meetings held by the leadership group and will record each meetings minutes and read them out at the following meeting. They will also maintain an up to the date membership database.
- Treasurer: Handles the money for the youth group, assists with fundraising ideas and youth group budget for events. Responsible for banking funds, keeping a record of all monetary transactions and keeping receipts. They need to give a report at each monthly meeting.
- Assistant Treasurer: Assists with the budget for youth group events. Assist treasurer in their role.
- Liaison Officer: Assists the president and vice president in finding new works for the Youth Group. They can be contact between the priest and those that need assistance, such as those that need a lift to church. They should observe newcomers to the parish and help with recruiting new members.
- Marketing: Assists with the promotion of the Youth Group keeps the website up to date with new information about past and future events under the direction of the president.
- Assistants: Can be any member within the Youth Group to assist with duties delegated by the president. Assistants can be drawn from outside the Youth Group if special services or skills are required e.g a working bee might require the assistance of a parishioner with skills in painting, a parishioner from outside the youth group can be asked to help out. They can attend leadership meetings at the request of the president.
Appointment of Leadership group
New leadership members will be selected and appointed from a group of people within the youth group who have volunteered for the role or been approached by the leadership group. The leadership group and the priest can discuss which applicant is most suitable for the role and appoint them. Any person within the leadership group may be removed by the priest or may vacate the position of their own will. If a member of the leadership group is thought to be unsuitable for the job a discussion between the president and the priest can take place and the member can be asked to vacate their role.
Once monthly the leadership group should get together and plan new events and review past events, they should discuss any issues within the Youth Group and ideas to improve it. Any general business and financial matters should also be discussed. All members of the leadership group should give audible reports. If a member of the leadership group is absent he should put in an apology to the vice president, if the president is absent the Vice President runs the meeting.
The meeting should be attended by the leadership group only, however other members can come at the request of the president only.
An annual general meeting should be held where all members of the Youth Group attend and re-cap the entire year of the Youth Group and the direction and focus of the new year.