Statutes of St. Dominic’s Centre of institutional Studies

Statutes of St. Dominic’s Centre of institutional Studies


  Saint Dominic’s Center of Institutional Studies,  Macau ( RAEM)

1. St Dominic Center of Institutional Studies [hereafter The Center is a Dominican institution established by the Master of the Order, Bro Bruno Cadore on the 4th of September 2011 as the Center of Institutional Studies for the Province of Our Lady of the Rosary. (Prot.25/11/733 ST).
2. The Center is located at St Dominic’s Priory, Avenida de Sidonio Pais, 39-41, Alan Court Building, MACAU [RAEM], China.
3. The creation of this Centre of Institutional Studies was done in compliance with the legislation of the Dominican Order, which states that each Province should have its own Center of Institutional Studies to provide its students with an intellectual formation according to the tradition of the Order and of the Province. (LCO 233 I).

4. The Center provides a house of formation and study for students of the Province of Our Lady of the Rosary who do their institutional studies mainly at the Faculty of Religious Studies of the University of St Joseph, in Macau.
5. The main objectives of the Center are the following:
a. to see to it that our Dominican brothers taking their institutional studies are equipped with the required basic studies (the first cycle) in Philosophy and Sacred Theology, following the norms of the Church and of the Dominican Order (cf RSG 40, 1);
b. to become a reference point for the Province of Our Lady of the Rosary in Asia in the promotion of scientific learning and in keeping the Province in touch with other academic institutions of the region;
c. to serve as a platform for the Province to assist its students who take their courses in other academic Centers or Universities in the issuance of certificates attesting their respective transcript of records and degrees, letters of studies’ accreditation for visa purposes, and the like.

The Center is governed by this Statute and its Directory, by the related laws of the Order of Preachers (LCO, RSG), and by the norms of the Province of Our Lady of the Rosary (Provincial Chapters, RSP), as regards as its organization and operation.
6. The Statutes of the Center define its nature, purpose, constitution, governance, and manner of acting (cf CIC, c. 94), while the Directory contains other internal regulations concerning the Center organization and functioning, always within the mainframe of this Statute.

The Highest Authority
7. Safeguarding always the authority of the Master of the Order who is responsible for the organization of studies in the whole Order(RSG, 36), the overall responsibility for the governance of the Center of Institutional Studies belongs to the Prior Provincial and his Council (RSG 55).
8. The Prior Provincial provides oversight and adequate resources, including a sufficient number of professors for the maintenance and future development of the Centre (RSG, 44.3). His responsibility is also to appoint an academic advisor or team of advisors for the students in the Center so that their institutional formation may be integrated and complete (RSG, 44.4).
The Regent of Studies
9. The Regent of Studies assists the Prior Provincial to promote and coordinate the life of study in the Province. As head of the Province commission on the Intellectual Life, he sees to it that the Ratio Studiorum Generalis and other pertinent legislation of the Order are properly implemented in the Centers of studies of the Province, particularly in this Center.
The Moderator of the Center
10. The Moderator of the Center of Institutional Studies is the Director of the Center. He is appointed by the Prior Provincial, after consulting the Regent of Studies (Prov. Statutes, 44) and desirably the professors and students of the Center (cf RSG 78). The Moderator remains in his office for four years and can be reappointed for a second term. He possesses the necessary executive authority to direct the Center and to promote its mission, with the responsibility for its strategic, administrative, academic, and financial management, as these are outlined in the governing laws of the Center, the provincial Statutes, and the Ratio Studiorum Particulars of the Province.
11. The main tasks of the Moderator of the Center are:
a. To promote the mission of the Center (RSG 56);
b. To make sure that there are adequate facilities, resources, and staff for the good management of the Center;
c. To support and assist the professors in their teaching and their professional development;
d. To prepare an annual budget and financial reports for approval by the Prior Provincial.

A Council of Professors
12. A Council of Professors, under the authority of the Moderator of the Center, oversees the Center in its teaching, research, and disciplinary regime. This Council is composed of the Moderator and the Secretary of the Center, the Librarian, the Master of Students, two professors appointed by the Prior Provincial, and the Prior of St Dominic’s Priory. The Council is subject to the Prior Provincial in relation to its responsibilities regarding study in the Center and to the Prior of St Dominic’s Priory regarding the religious life and governance of the community.
13. The following are the main duties of this Council of Professors:
a. To assist the Moderator by offering advice, especially on academic and strategic planning matters;
b. To maintain and foster the Dominican intellectual tradition in the Center;
c. To organize the cycle of institutional studies and to approve the curriculum;
d. To promote everything that pertains to study, keeping in mind always the integral formation of the brothers (cf. RSG 59);
e. To decide, with the Master of Students and the conventual Prior and his Council, on the students admission to examinations.

The Librarian
14. The Library shall be headed by a librarian able to classify the books according to professional standards. The Librarian is appointed by the Prior Provincial after consultation with the Council of Professors.
15. The Librarian main functions are:
a. To categorize, prepare and catalog the library materials, and they help people on how to utilize the library;
b. To manage information and library resources, exploring the possibility of establishing a digital network connection with other libraries;
c. To select and acquire appropriate publications for the library collection;
d. To oversee the management of the library.
16. The Prior Provincial with his Council determines annually the amount of money needed to ensure the continuous improvement of the library of the Center (LCO 89, 6; cf. 88, 2).

The Secretary
17. The Academic Secretary of the Center is appointed [and removed] by the Prior Provincial upon request of the Moderator of the Center. He remains in his office as long as the Moderator who proposed him remains in his.
18. The Secretary carries out the following main functions:
a. Collaborates with the Moderator in coordinating the academic activity of the Center and its ordinary functioning;
b. Prepares and archives the documents, records of professors and students, minutes of meetings, reports, and the like;
c. Elaborates the annual memory of the corresponding academic year;
d. Writes down the minutes at the meetings of the Professors Council.

The Treasurer
19. The Treasurer of the Center is appointed [and removed] by the Prior Provincial, upon consultation with the Moderator of the Center. He collaborates with the latter in carrying out the functions of the Center financial administrator. Under the supervision of the Moderator, he likewise prepares an annual budget and financial reports for approval by the Prior Provincial.
The Governing Board
20. The Governing Body is the highest Body of the Center of Studies. It should gather at least twice a year and is composed of the Prior Provincial, who will convoke and preside over the meetings; the Provincial Council members; the Regent of Studies; the Moderator of the Center; and the Prior of St Dominic’s Priory. It is convenient also that the Provincial Syndic or a member of the Provincial Economic Council be present.
21. The Governing Body has the following competencies regarding the Center:
a. To define the policies on academic, administrative, and financial matters;
b. To guarantee the proper running of the Center c. To approve the annual budget and supervise its implementation;
d. To approve the annual financial report of income and expenses;
e. To approve amendments to this Statute.

22. Due to its peculiarity, the Center does not offer an academic curriculum by itself, since the students take their institutional studies of Philosophy and of Sacred Theology at the Catholic University of St Joseph, in Macau.
23. The Center, however, supplements the curriculum in Philosophy and Theology taken at the University with additional subjects, courses, and seminars, to ensure that the brothers are formed in the Dominican intellectual tradition during their institutional formation, as required by the Order (cf LCO 233 §III and RSG 54 and 67).
24. The Center may certify the academic transcript of records of the studies taken by our Dominican students at St Joseph University or in other Universities, and translate their corresponding grades, credits, and degrees. Likewise, it certifies the supplementary courses or seminars imparted by the Center itself.
25. No ecclesiastical or academic degrees in Philosophy or Theology are conferred by the Center since it is not affiliated to another Institution, Faculty, or University. Instead, the degrees are conferred by the University of Saint Joseph, in Macau, which is affiliated with the Catholic University of Lisbon, in Portugal, and is civilly recognized by the Macau government.
26. As a Dominican Center of institutional studies, the Center may confer the Lectorate of the Order (cf. RSG 40.1), provided all the requirements mentioned in RSG 90 are faithfully observed.

27. In appointing professors to the Center, the Prior Provincial is to ensure that they fulfill the requirements and qualities mentioned in the RSG 70-75, particularly concerning their qualifications and their commitment to the intellectual growth of the students.
28. Because the Center is a community of professors and students, students should contribute to the common good of the Center through their active participation in its academic life. They should also be consulted in the process of selecting the Moderator of the Center (RSG 77-78) and on other pertinent matters.
29. Students must be aware of the essential importance of study in Dominican life and understand that they are primarily responsible for their own formation (LCO 156). They are bound to study, to faithfully attend classes and conferences and among other things to accomplish the pertinent homework required them by their professors. They are to carefully follow the regulations on their academic and moral behavior prescribed by the student handbook of the University where they study.

30. The library is an absolute necessity for professors and students alike, as an indispensable resource for research and study. Special attention, therefore, is to be given to it regarding its management, resources, and financial budget.
31. In order to maximize and facilitate the use of the library of our Center, it is being networked online with the libraries of the Catholic University of St Joseph.
32. The Librarian of the Center, appointed by the Prior Provincial upon consultation with the Council of Professors, has to be able to classify the books according to professional standards and favor linking the library online with other libraries.

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Significance of the Center of Studies in Macau

Significance of the Center of Studies in Macau

When in September 2011 I received the document through which the Master of the Dominican Order established “The Center of Institutional Studies for the Province of Our Lady of the Rosary in the Convent of St Dominic, Macau in China” I realized that we were writing history. Something extraordinary was there: A Dominican Center of Studies [Studium Generale] in Macau! A dream many of our former missionaries would have longed to hear. We are privileged to witness it and hopefully appreciate its implications.

What is a Center of Studies? A Center of Studies is basically a community of learning and formation. These kinds of Centers enjoy their own personality, and great importance is attached to them in the Dominican tradition. To the point that our legislation states that “each Province shall have its own Center of institutional studies.” (LCO 233 §I)

We, the Province of Our Lady of the Rosary are not an exception: we have always had one; furthermore, even more than one at a given time in history, in different parts of the world, depending on where our House of Studies was. The latest was in Madrid, San Pedro Mártir, which for 50 years fulfilled a splendid mission in the formation of this present generation of missionaries. But today the situation has changed and our provincial Student is here in Macau. And since new situations require new solutions, our Center of Institutional Studies is here in Macau, too.

What is the specific significance of this Centre for our Province? It is a great one for us Dominicans and for the Church:

  1. In the first place, it addresses our academic needs at this moment in history, bound as we are to provide our numerous students with the required philosophical-theological formation in accordance with the Dominican tradition.
  2. In the second place, this Centre is called to become a reference point for the Province in this part of the world in fulfilling the important tasks of promoting scientific learning and of keeping us in touch with other academic institutions and with the university world of the region. And
  3. Finally, this Center has also for us a practical significance, as an internal coordinating platform for the studies of those students of ours who are taking their institutional courses in other nearby places, as well as an important aid in facilitating transcript of records, accreditation of studies, needed documents for visa purposes, etc. The establishment of this Centre is a much-needed institution and quite timely at this point in history.

In closing, I just simply say that if the establishment of this St Dominic Center of Studies is history, our current presence here is history, too.

May our Brother St Thomas Aquinas, known for his holiness and learning, help us to grow in wisdom by his teaching and in holiness by imitating his faith. Amen.

 Fr Javier González, OP