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Priories

This page provides information for the prior or prioress of the Order of Science how to form and manage a priory.

 

 

Form a Priory

The prior or prioress is expected to form and maintain the by-laws of the priory under their care. The process of forming a priory is simple. A monk or nun of the Order of Science must join the membership as a prior or prioress. Priory by-laws must be written and available for all members of the priory. A priory by-laws prototype is provided below that may be revised as necessary or as desired. Imitation of the prototype is not mandatory.

The founding Abbot President of the Scientist Order benchmarked other monastic by-laws just as he researched other monastic rules, finding that these were often excessively verbose, he deliberately followed a minimalist style and kept all writings as brief and simple as possible. It is recommended that the prior or prioress of any priory do the same when forming a new priory or altering the by-laws of an established priory.

All by-laws must follow the Rule of the Order of Science and explicitly state their allegiance to the Order of Science. By-laws must be formally approved by the Abbot President of the Order of Science, who will record the details of the priory and send notice to the prior or prioress, giving the prior or prioress a specific time period (usually one week) to suggest corrections of the data. Once the by-laws are officially approved by the Abbot President of the Scientist Order, the prior or prioress is authorized to accept new members into his or her priory.

 

abbey

The first physical location of Science Abbey, the mother abbey of the Order of Science, on the island of Java, Indonesia.

 

Priory By-Laws

 

Priory name:

Prior or Prioress name:

Prior or Prioress contact details:

Priory location (physical and/or web address):

 

Priory Mission Statement:

The mission of the ________ Priory is…

The foremost purpose of the priory is to uphold the monastic lifestyle under the guidance of reason and science, cultivating self and community in health and equal human rights, sharing in meditation and ultimately, enlightenment. Central to our shared community is the institution of the daily offices, which we observe in common, although our relative physical locations may require that we do these meditations at different times. The daily offices are a way to stay connected in a daily cycle of service, celebration and communion.

 

Article I: Meetings

Our priory meets physically on a monthly basis for a short service and brunch on the last Sunday of each month.

The prior is available three days each week: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from the hours of 8 am to 5 pm. Monks and nuns may schedule a private meeting during evening hours only under special circumstances, at the prior’s convenience. All meetings will remain professional and focused on matters related to the Order of Science or its scope, and the monk or nun’s personal growth as such.

The Abbot President shall host an annual meeting for the whole Order either at a stated location or an accessible online forum. The time and location of the meeting will be posted on the Order website one full month prior to the time of the meeting. Priors and Prioresses are expected to participate and all members are recommended to do so.

 

Article II: Members

Just as it is the task of the Abbot President or Abbess President to nurture all members of the Order of Science, so it is the duty of the prior or prioress to nurture the members of the priory. Each priory decides for itself if it will accept only cenobites, or eremitic monks, or both. Priories with physical locations should attempt to provide temporary shelter to mendicant friars and visiting monks/nuns of the Scientist Order. Such locations should offer hospitable guest facilities to the public if possible, for a minimum donation, as outreach to the general population.

Each priory may choose to confine itself to being either a monastery for male monks or a convent for female nuns, or it may be non-discriminatory in its membership, which is generally recommended by the Order of Science. Other exclusionary criteria are against the spirit of the Order and not generally allowed. If a good argument is made for a special priory, the Abbot President may take this into consideration. Priories may have specific requirements for its membership in order to perpetuate a special mission and function, such as a focus on solitary contemplation, a branch of science, or evangelism.

 

Article III: Prior/Prioress

Section I: The Priory

The Abbot President  of the Order of Science is the abbot of Science Abbey, the mother abbey of all Order of Science priories. A priory is the dependency of its mother abbey, and the superior, the prior, is subject to the abbot or abbess in all things related to the Order. Both orders of monastery are necessary to the Order of Science. Priories may begin with an online presence and either remain as such or develop into a physical monastery.

Section II: Elections

After the founding prior or prioress has left their post open for replacement, the new prior or prioress is elected by the brethren and sisters by consensus and confirmed by the Abbot President of the Scientist Order. The prior/prioress makes a formal pledge to faithfully uphold the principles of the Order of Science as defined by the Rule.

Section III: Term of Office

The Abbot President is a lifelong position that may be abdicated at any time. Likewise, the Prior serves a life term unless the Priory by-laws provide other rules of succession, or the Abbot President may forcibly remove a Prior from his or her post at any time due to violations against the Rule.

Section IV: Powers

Just as it is the task of the Abbot President or Abbess President to nurture all members of the Order of Science, so it is the duty of the prior or prioress to nurture the members of the priory. Each priory decides for itself if it will accept only cenobites, or eremitic monks, or both. Priories with physical locations should attempt to provide temporary shelter to mendicant friars and visiting monks/nuns of the Scientist Order. Such locations should offer hospitable guest facilities to the public if possible, for a minimum donation, as outreach to the general population.

Each priory may choose to confine itself to being either a monastery for male monks or a convent for female nuns, or it may be non-discriminatory in its membership, which is generally recommended by the Order of Science. Other exclusionary criteria are against the spirit of the Order and not generally allowed. If a good argument is made for a special priory, the Abbot President may take this into consideration. Priories may have specific requirements for its membership in order to perpetuate a special mission and function, such as a focus on solitary contemplation, a branch of science, or evangelism.

Section V: Governing Rules

The Abbot (or Abbess) President is vowed to act on behalf of the best interests of the Order of Science and its monastery. As chief monk, he or she has the only complete view of the workings of the monastery and often times other members must defer to this leader, not cognizant of all factors leading to the Abbot President’s decisions, but relying on the benevolence and competence of the head of the monastery.

A priory is the dependency of its mother abbey, and the superior, the prior, is subject to the abbot or abbess in all things related to the Order. Both orders of monastery are necessary to the Order of Science.

The prior or prioress is expected to form and maintain the by-laws of the priory under their care. The process of forming a priory is simple. A monk or nun of the Order of Science must join the membership as a prior or prioress. Priory by-laws must be written and available for all members of the priory. A priory by-laws prototype is provided below that may be revised as necessary or as desired. Imitation of the prototype is not mandatory.

The founding Abbot President of the Scientist Order benchmarked other monastic by-laws just as he researched other monastic rules, finding that these were often excessively verbose, he deliberately followed a minimalist style and kept all writings as brief and simple as possible. It is recommended that the prior or prioress of any priory do the same when forming a new priory or altering the by-laws of an established priory.

All by-laws must follow the Rule of the Order of Science and explicitly state their allegiance to the Order of Science. By-laws must be formally approved by the Abbot President of the Order of Science, who will record the details of the priory and send notice to the prior or prioress, giving the prior or prioress a specific time period (usually one week) to suggest corrections of the data. Once the by-laws are officially approved by the Abbot President of the Scientist Order, the prior or prioress is authorized to accept new members into his or her priory.

An authoritarian attitude within any priory will not be tolerated. The Order of Science stands for the principles of equality, liberty and fraternity. The prior or prioress must be a humble and wise role-model for his or her companions in the priory. He or she must govern with firmness and fairness, with discipline and compassion, leading by example and nurturing the leadership qualities of his or her fellow members.

 

Article IV: Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is composed of three officers: the Prior or Prioress, the Secretary and the Treasurer. The Board of Directors is given all the powers necessary, expressed or implied, to carry out the proper executive functions of the Priory.

Prior or Prioress:

The Prior or Prioress possesses all powers necessary for the operation of the priory and execution of the directives of the Order.

Secretary:

The Secretary shall be the keeper of the minutes of the proceedings of all meetings, by all members, Board of Directors meetings, committee meetings, councils and other Boards or tribunals, as authorized by the Board of Directors. These shall constitute the formal records of the priory and shall be available to the Prior at all times. These records shall be deemed available for viewing by any and all requests, either public or private.

Treasurer:

The Treasurer is appointed by the Prior and is independent of all other positions, having custody of all moneys and securities of the priory. He or she shall make an accounting of all Order transactions.

All checks, drafts or orders for the payment of money, notes, evidence of indebtedness issued in the name of the priory, or any other encumbrance, shall be signed by the Treasurer of the priory. In the absence of availability of the approved Treasurer, the Board of Directors may appoint a secondary signator who may sign on behalf of the priory.

All funds of the priory must be deposited as required to the credit of the priory in such banks, trust companies or other depositories as the Board of Directors may choose.

Any member of the Board of Directors may accept on behalf of the priory any contributions, donations, gifts, for any purpose. Large transactions must be approved by the Prior prior to execution. Any and all contributions are the sole property of the priory and shall be duly noted and entered into the accounts by the Treasurer.

The Treasurer shall keep correct and complete financial records of all priory accounts. All books and records of the priory may be inspected by any member, or agent, for any purpose at any reasonable time.

The Treasurer shall be authorized to appoint person(s) to assist the Treasurer, with approval from the Board of Directors, in carrying out the duties and functions of the Treasurer’s office. Any person(s) who are appointed to this role may be subject to formal background checks as appropriate for the fiscal responsibilities assumed.

 

Article V: Property

A prior or prioress may hold a priory and its associated assets as private property, or property may be donated to the non-profit organization of the Order of Science, otherwise known as the Scientist Order.

A priory may only be dissolved with the written and signed consent of the Prior and the Abbot President, and with a vote of the priory membership excluding Novices winning the assent of two-thirds (2/3) of the priory membership.

Upon dissolution of a priory all assets belonging to the priory (and not the Prior or Prioress) will be distributed as follows:

(a) All liabilities and obligations of the priory shall be paid, satisfied and discharged, or adequate provision shall be made therefore.

(b) Assets held by the priory requiring return, transfer or conveyance, which condition occurs by reason of the dissolution, shall be returned, transferred or conveyed in accordance with such requirements.

(c) All remaining assets shall be transferred to one or more organizations which are engaged in activities substantially similar to those of the priory and which qualify as exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from taxation under Section 501(a) of said Code.

 

Article VI. Arbitration

The Abbot President may adopt such rules of procedure and regulations governing the conduct of Order business and the organization of the Order as he or she may deem necessary and proper insofar as such institutions align with the Rule of the Order. The Prior or Prioress may likewise adopt such institutions in alignment with the Rule for the by-laws of the priory.

Arbitration: If damage to person(s) or to the Order shall occur through the direction, action or inaction of the members of the Order, any individual member, or assemblage of members of the Order, shall have the right to request a special meeting in order to pursue an arbitration process by a committee of twelve members (excluding Novices) made of the available most senior members of the Order. As the priory is a microcosm of the Order, so the Prior may adopt a similar system for the priory.

Determination of Arbitration: All parties shall hold sacred the determination and outcome of the above stated committee who’s decision shall be held as legal and binding by all parties to the appeals process.

 

Article VII. Amendment to the By-Laws

Any and all provisions of the by-laws may be modified, altered or amended by two-thirds majority vote of all members excluding Novices, only with the assent of the Prior or Prioress, either at a regular or special meeting called explicitly for the purpose of amending the by-laws. If the proposed amendment(s) are adopted as herein provided, the results of the vote shall be announced and declared adopted by the Prior or Prioress, whereupon such amendments shall be in full force of effect either on the date specified for the enactment of said amendments, or without an adoption date and time, shall be in full force and effect immediately upon adoption.