Though we anticipate by many years, it seems advisable to give here the latest printed “Rules” of the Society, in order that they may be easily compared with the old “Articles of Agreement.”
The following rules were first drawn up in 1887, as will be seen later, by a specially appointed Committee, when Mr. A. Harrison was President and Fr. Thomas Dykes, S.J., was Chairman. They were reprinted for the last time in 1898.
In the course of the last quarter of a Century these rules have been altered slightly. These changes will be noted later on.
I.—This Society shall be called the “FIRST CATHOLIC CHARITABLE SOCIETY OF PRESTON.”
2.—The objects of this Society shall be to provide a Fund for the purpose of relieving the sick and needy Catholics of Preston, and for the purpose of bestowing spiritual benefits on the members and their wives, during life and after death.
3.—The Officers of the Society, who shall, ex-officio, be members of all Committees, shall consist of the Rector for the time being of St. Wilfrid’s, Preston (who shall be Chairman); the Rector for the time being of St. Augustine’s, Preston; and also a lay President, an Honorary Secretary, and an Honorary Treasurer.
4.—The business of the Society shall be managed by a General Committee consisting of the Officers and six other members to be elected as hereinafter provided, five to form a quorum. The six other members shall be elected for two years, one half of whom shall retire each year; but such retiring members shall be eligible for re-election.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
5.—The President, Honorary Secretary, and Honorary Treasurer, and one half of the six other members of the General Committee, shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.
DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS
6.—The Rector of St. Wilfrid’s shall be entitled to take the chair at the annual, quarterly, and extraordinary general meetings, and also at the annual dinner of the members. In his absence the duties of his office shall devolve upon the Rector of St. Augustine’s; but should the latter also be absent, the meeting shall proceed to elect its own chairman.
The President shall be Chairman of the Committee, and shall have the general superintendence of the affairs of the Society.
The Honorary Secretary shall have charge of all the property of the Society, except its funds; he shall summon and attend all meetings of the members, of the general committee, and of sub-committees (if any), and take minutes of the same in a book provided for that purpose; he shall also keep in another book a register of the members of the Society, the date of their admission and death, as also the date at which any member resigns or forfeits his membership in the Society. He shall give notice to the Clergy of the Society, in rotation, to offer up two Masses, one for the deceased and one for the living members about the time of each quarterly meeting. Upon being informed of the death of any member or of the wife of any member, he shall give notice thereof, to the Priests of the Society, in rotation, to offer up in accordance with these rules Masses for the departed soul. He shall further make an annual report of the charitable and other work of the Society and at its meetings, whether of its members or of its general or sub-committees, shall assist the Chairman or the President in the performance of his duties.
The Honorary Treasurer shall have charge of the funds of the Society, and shall keep its accounts in proper books to be provided for that purpose, and at each annual meeting of the Society he shall present an audited account of all pecuniary transactions of the past year. At each quarterly meeting he shall present the accounts for the past quarter, as also a statement shewing the number of tickets granted during the past quarter and by whom granted. He shall also submit for the inspection of the members present the tickets cashed by him during the past quarter.
7.—Any person wishing to become a member of the Society must be proposed by a member, in writing, and such proposal shall state the name, address, and age of the proposed member, and shall be handed in to the Secretary at a Quarterly Meeting, and if the proposal be approved by a majority of the members present, the name of the proposed member shall be entered on the books of the Society. Priests, however, shall become members (without being required to pay any entrance fee) ipso facto on their appointment to a Mission in Preston, and in like manner such membership shall cease on their leaving Preston. They may, however, remain ordinary members of the Society, but as such do not come under the designation, “Priests or Clergy of the Society.”
8.—Each member shall pay, on admission, an entrance fee of one shilling, and shall subscribe to the funds of the Society two shillings and sixpence per quarter. Members, however, who enter at the age of sixty or upwards, shall pay four shillings extra on admission. No person shall be eligible for election as a member above the age of seventy years. Payment of entrance money (except in the case of the clergy) and one quarter’s subscription shall constitute membership.
9.—The income of the Society shall be divided into two funds—(a) “Fund for Spiritual Benefits,” (b) “Fund for Corporal Benefits.” One-third of the income shall go to Fund “A,” which shall be retained as a provision for the masses of the Society. The remaining two-thirds of income shall go to Fund “B,” which shall be retained as a provision for the relief of the poor and the necessary expenses of the Society.
MODE OF GRANTING RELIEF
10.—The ordinary mode of granting the relief of the Society shall be by a ticket signed by one of the Clergy. The ticket shall be in the form of a cash order upon the Treasurer for the amount thereon specified, and shall have upon it the name and address of the recipient of relief. No ticket shall be given for a greater amount than the sum of two shillings and sixpence, or such smaller sum as may from time to time be fixed by the members at a quarterly meeting.
MEETINGS WHEN TO BE HELD
11.—The ordinary meetings of the Society shall be held, and the subscriptions of the members paid quarterly, that is to say, on the first Mondays (or on such other day of the week as the committee may deem desirable) in the months of January, April, July, and October. The quarterly meeting held in January shall be the Annual General Meeting.
BUSINESS TO BE TRANSACTED AT ANNUAL MEETING
12.—At the Annual General Meeting the Treasurer’s financial statement, and the Secretary’s report of the charitable and other work of the Society for the past year, shall be submitted; the President, the Honorary Secretary, the Honorary Treasurer, one-half of the six other members of the General Committee, and two Auditors shall be elected, the date and place of the Annual Dinner of the members shall be appointed; and such other business as may arise shall be transacted.
BUSINESS TO BE TRANSACTED AT QUARTERLY MEETINGS
13.—At each Quarterly Meeting a statement shewing the number of tickets granted during the past quarter, and by whom granted, and the accounts for the quarter shall be submitted by the Treasurer; and a majority present, having regard to the state of the Fund, shall determine the number of the tickets which each of the Clergy of the Society may grant during the succeeding quarter, and whether the amount of each ticket shall be less; and, if so, what smaller amount than two shillings and sixpence.
OTHER BUSINESS AT MEETINGS
14.—Upon the conclusion of the business specified by rule to be transacted at the ordinary meetings, the Chairman of the meeting may, at his discretion, allow any subject pertaining to Catholic interests whether local or otherwise, to be brought forward for discussion and the discussion of any matter so brought forward shall immediately cease if a notification be given from the chair that further discussion is undesirable.
GENERAL COMMITTEE MAY CALL EXTRAORDINARY MEETING OF MEMBERS
15.—The General Committee may at its discretion call an extraordinary general meeting of members at any time, giving not less than seven days’ notice by circular specifying the business of the meeting, to which alone the discussion shall be confined.
CHAIRMAN TO CALL EXTRAORDINARY MEETING ON RECEIPT OF REQUISITION
16.—The Chairman shall convene an extraordinary general meeting of the members upon the receipt of a requisition, signed by not less than twelve members, specifying the object of such meeting (to which alone the discussion shall be confined), and seven days’ notice thereof shall be given to the members.
NOTICES AS TO HOLDING OF MEETINGS
17.—The Secretary shall convene the ordinary meetings of the Society by circular sent to all the members, at least three clear days’ notice being given of such meetings; and he shall also give timely notice to the Clergy for the announcement of the meetings from the altar.
SPECIAL CASES FOR RELIEF
18.—At each quarterly meeting any member may recommend a poor person as being an object of charity deserving of special consideration, and a majority present shall decide upon the claims of the object to be so specially considered, and upon the sum, if any, to be given as relief.
ACCOUNTS, &c., TO BE AUDITED
19.—The accounts, balance sheet, and Treasurer’s statement of the income and expenditure of the Society shall be audited by two of the members, who shall be appointed at each annual general meeting.
CHANGE OF RESIDENCE
20.—Members changing their residence shall notify the same to the Secretary.
MEMBERS IN ARREAR WITH THEIR SUBSCRIPTIONS
21.—The Secretary shall give notice to all members who shall have allowed their quarterly subscriptions to pass twelve months in arrear; and all members who shall have allowed their subscriptions to run two years in arrear shall forfeit all claim to the spiritual benefits of the Society.
SPIRITUAL BENEFITS.—EIGHT MASSES EACH YEAR FOR LIVING AND DECEASED MEMBERS
22.—About the time of each quarterly meeting, two Masses shall be said by the Priests of the Society in rotation one for the dead, and one for the living members of the Society.
ON DEATH OF A MEMBER OR OF HIS WIFE MASSES TO BE SAID ACCORDING TO SCALE
23.—On the death of a member, or of the wife of a member, notice thereof should be immediately sent to the Secretary, who, upon receiving such notice, shall notify the same to the Priests of the Society, by whom in rotation Masses, according to the subjoined scale, shall be said for the departed soul:—
Age at Entry.
1 to 34 — sixteen Masses.
35 to 39 — fifteen Masses.
40 to 44 — thirteen Masses.
45 to 49 — eleven Masses.
50 to 54 — nine Masses.
55 to 59 — seven Masses.
60 to 64 — five Masses.
65 to 69 — three Masses.
70 — two Masses.
For the purpose of this rule, the age of the husband shall be deemed to be the age of the wife.
SPIRITUAL BENEFITS TO EXTEND TO MEMBERS’ WIVES
24.—The spiritual benefits of the Society shall extend to the wife of a member; and if she survive her husband, she shall succeed to all the benefits by continuing to pay the quarterly subscription. Her age at the time she shall pay her first quarterly subscription shall be deemed to be her “age at entry” into the Society, and she shall be entitled at death to the number of Masses appertaining to such age.
RETRIBUTIONS TO BE PAID FROM SOCIETY’S FUNDS
25.—The ordinary retributions for Masses (as fixed by the Provincial Synod) shall be paid from the funds of the Society.
CLERGY TO BE ASKED TO RECOMMEND DECEASED MEMBERS TO THEIR CONGREGATIONS
26.—The Clergy of the Society shall be requested to recommend deceased members to the prayers of their congregations, and to notify that the deceased were members of the First Catholic Charitable Society.
ALTERATIONS OF RULES
27.—Alterations of, and additions to, the rules of the Society shall only be made at a quarterly or at an extraordinary general meeting, and provided that notice of the alterations or additions proposed to be made shall have been given at the previous quarterly meeting.
POWER TO GENERAL COMMITTEE TO MAKE BYE-LAWS &c
28.—The General Committee shall have power to appoint Sub-Committees from their own body, and from time to time to make such bye-laws as they may deem necessary for the government of the Society, and all matters not provided for in these rules shall be decided by them.
The foregoing rules were approved at a quarterly meeting of the members of the Society, held on the 8th day of October, 1895.
FREDERICK O’HARE, S.J.,