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Refounding Letter



With the knowledge of Bishop Robert Mulvee, bishop of the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, USA, and with the approval of three priest advisors, Dom Julian Stead, OSB, Father John of the Trinity, Erem TOCarm, and Father Martin Mary Fonte, FI, the original foundation of members living a modern adaptation of the Rule of 1221 was refounded, on August 22, 2003, as the Confraternity of Penitents.  The same Rule and Statutes were retained without change.  The formation program and formation lessons, as approved by the Visitor of the Association and filed with the Diocese of Providence in 1999, were kept without alteration.  A symbol, the San Damiano Crucifix, and motto, taken from Matthew 22, as well as the prayer of St. Francis before the San Damiano Crucifix, were adopted as accurately portraying the Confraternity's charism and emphasis. 

Various documents of the refounding, including the Handbook of the Confraternity, were sent to the Diocese of Providence and were acknowledged in a letter from Msgr. Wiliam I. Varsanyi, Diocesan Vicar for Canonical Affairs, dated October 1, 2003.

The letter began, "This is to acknowledge receipt of the lengthy information concerning the Confraternity of Penitents, a recently established private association with the permission of Bishop Mulvee.  I will file the material in our diocesan archives.  . . . Wishing God's continued blessings for your Apostolate, and with every best wish, I remain, Sincerely yours in Christ, (Rev. Msgr.) William I. Varsanyi, Vicar General."  Msgr. Varsanyi is also Vicar for Canonical Affairs.

A Mass to celebrate the refounding and a pot luck dinner were held on November 22, 2003.

Every year thereafter, the Confraternity of Penitents has marked the refounding with a Mass, on August 22, in thanksgiving for God's many graces to us. May He be forever praised!

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