World Peace Mission took shape as an international association in the Catholic Church that strives to evangelize, to establish peace in the world and to achieve the sanctification of families. It had its origin in the State of Kerala in India. Soon it took deep roots all over India, and in course of time, its branches spread out into the international arena and began ministries for the attainment of its initial goals. Today World Peace Mission has been on a trajectory of growth and engaged in promoting peace in 33 countries worldwide.
“Peace be with you,” and “I have come to fulfil your peace” are biblical messages that motivate the ministries of WPM to provide services that promote peace in these turbulent times we live in. It recognises that Jesus’ attitudes, character and mentality are the antidote to contemporary disruptions in society; it proclaims this reality aloud.
Lord we pray for the power to be gentle
The strength to be forgiving
The patience to be understanding;
And the endurance to accept the consequences
Of holding to what we believe to be right,
May we put our trust in the power of good
To overcome evil and the power of
Love to overcome hatred.
We pray for the vision to see and the faith
To believe in a world emancipated from violence,
A new world where fear shall no longer lead people
To commit injustice,
Nor selfishness to bring suffering to others,
Help us to devote our whole life and thought
And energy to the task of making peace,
Praying always for the inspiration and power
To fulfil the destiny for
Which we and all people were created.
I love my world. I shall strive to realise the aim of identifying our common humanity, promoting love, and the unity of all nations which shall stay united in peace and forge ahead as a community of all men and women. I shall sincerely participatein the effort to totally eradicate racism, racial discrimination, ethnic divisions and religious fundamentalism from the minds of people, and to promote social justice and self-discipline. I shall also cooperate in the responsibility to spread this message across the world. I hereby pledge to do my utmost to make everyone realise that the earth is the common heritage of all people everywhere and that they should work hand in hand to uphold a classless and casteless society where fraternal love shall reign supreme.
These will be the faithful of all walks of life, ie, priests, laity, deacons, seminarians, celibates. They will have passed through the various stages of commitment during formation and covenant confirmation.
(ii) Associate members:
Associate members are those who wish to serve as fellow travellers of WPM but find it inconvenient to accede to all the conditions of the Association (Art 14). In order to become associate members, they too have to pass through an information stage. They will not be eligible to become governing council members.
The applicant should be aged above 18 years.
To secure associate membership of the Association, one needs to apply for it to the coordinator of the neighbourhood higher council. On acceptance of the application, one becomes an associate member.
Rights & responsibilities
All members are subject to the following conditions:
The honorary members of the Association are Bishops. They will also serve as its advisors. Following their counsel in matters of faith, the international council will stabilize the honorary members. They will, ipso facto, be invitees to the Association’s international assembly and national assemblies.
Non-Christians can join WPM and participate in its projects. For this, they should have completed the formation phase.
Priest members of the Association
Priests who wish to become members
Priests and seminarians for service in the Association:
Applicants for Holy Orders
Priests and Deacons
Withdrawal and denial of membership
Organisational structure of the Association
Members of World Peace Mission operating within particular geographical areas will meet for prayer sessions in a friendly atmosphere. Cell groups and regular members pray and work for the uplift of the community.
Newcomers will be welcomed to the prayer meetings organised by World Peace Mission. It will serve as an occasion for the member to experience the joy of zealous worship, WPM camaraderie, loving fellowship, the sanctity of the word of God and the quiet that accompanies these.
Cell groups are basic communities. These serve as common platforms for prayer and exchange of ideas among members. They meet once a month.
World Peace Mission Household
This is the basic unit of the Association which may comprise either regular members or associate members. Associate members need not necessarily have membership in the Household. However, this basic council can invite an associate member to its meetings. In these groups, young people, married couples, priests and other believers come together to experience the joy of Christian fellowship and to appreciate the gladness that imbues such meetings. Households meet once every month and keep in touch with the higher council that controls them and with the topmost association.
The Association’s branches are organised in areas controlled by the WPM councils. Either zonal councils or regional councils coordinate the work of local households. Zonalcouncils are managed by regional councils. The latter fall under the control of the national councils. The final authority in all matters rests with the international council.
An area council gets formed within the boundaries of an archdiocese. But where several archdioceses function within a particular region, the operation will be different. The higher council of WPM will take into consideration the number of members in a region to determine the zones in that region.
• The zonal council takes shape in an area with at least 25 regular members. If sufficient regular members are not forthcoming, an ad hoc zonal team will be formed. This is with a view to forming the association in that area.• Diocesan youth team
In areas where dioceses and eparchies meet, an eparchial WPM team may be formed if there are at least 25 members. This will find representation in the immediate higher council or zonal council.
Either the diocesan World Peace Mission team or the zonalcouncil will keep in touch with the archdiocese through a chaplain. It will be this Ordinary or Eparch that will provide confirmation to the regular members and priest members of the Association.
Regional Council and National Council
According to CIC 433, a WPM region means a Christian church region in normal parlance. Depending on the WPM members’ numbers, the higher council forms the region. If the Association spreads to many countries overseas, each country will have its own national council.
Where a region has at least 50 members, a regional council may be formed there. To form a national council, a country must have a minimum of 100 members.
The World Peace Council in a region must continually provide regular reports to the church centre. This may be done either directly or through an advisor. This advisor should have been appointed by the national council or the international council.
The chaplain of the World Peace Mission will always be a priest. He should also be a member of the Association. He must, besides, be a fellow-traveller with WPM and a helper to the council.
• When members of a council demit office, the newly formed council can choose a new chaplain. In this choice, however, the advice of the former council should be sought.• The chaplain should maintain cordial relations with church leaders and administer sacraments when the council meets.• As an advisor, the chaplain should provide guidance and support to the council and participate in all its meetings. However, he will not enjoy the right to vote.• The chaplain will have the right to provide spiritual services to the council members.• The WPM animator will be a regular member priest or believer or individual. The newly formed council shall choose its animator with the approval of the former council. Membership of the council should not exceed 25 per cent of former members. Although they will take part in council meetings, they can only serve as animators and advisors and therefore provide support and guidance.
Administrative setup of the Association
The Association’s administrative control can be vested either in a single individual or coordinator or assistant coordinator or finance coordinator. The councils and assemblies will serve as advisory team. The councils chosen by local assemblies shall control the administration of the Association at particular times. All regular members shall be members of the primary assemblies of their countries.
Only regular members are qualified to be elected to the governing councils. No member may be elected to the international council consecutively for more than three times. To all other councils a member may not be elected consecutively for more than two times.
a. Nature of the Association
Membership of the assembly
i. Regular membersii. Regular members chosen from primary assemblies will have their representation in the national assembly. The number of chosen members will be proportionate to the strength of the members in each country. Delegates chosen from a country should not exceed 30 per cent of the chosen members.iii. Members of the international counciliv. Special invitees. Up to 10 per cent of regular members may be invited to the international council.v. The total number of delegates to the assembly should not fall below 150 nor exceed 300.vi. Of the total assembly members, at least 50 per cent should be elected members.vii. Convening Meetings
The international assembly meets once in three years. This is organised by the international council. Of the total delegates, 50 per cent can consist of ordinary members.
Responsibilities of the international assembly
• After prayerful preparation choose delegates to the international council.• Sanction approval to covenant members.• Provide necessary information for future projects and evaluate them.• Revise rules and regulations.
Members of international council
Members consist of the international coordinator, assistant coordinator, elected members, chaplain, animators, ex-officio formation director, similarly placed mission director, and priest in charge of the affairs of priests and seminarians.
The international council shall have members numbering between eight and 12.
Only elected members of the council shall have the right to vote.
Ex-officio members should not exceed 50 per cent of the elected members.
The term of office of the international council shall be three years.
The international council shall meet at least twice every year.
Responsibilities• Lead the Association.• Formulate the mission and vision of the Association.• Formulate and execute international programs.• Develop and promote the growth of the Association in new territories.• Convene international assembly.• Approve the membership of new members.• Create an international formation team and choose a formation director.• Choose an international mission team and its director.• Formation of continental/sub-continental team.• Appointment of an executive director at the international office.
Method of choice of the international council
• There will be a discreet team of believers to consider applications submitted to the international council. It will be their responsibility to conduct the election. The team will have an international chaplain, international coordinator and three regular members. None of the candidates should figure in this group.• The list of candidates will be scrutinized with the permission of national and international councils.• Candidates’ scrutiny will be based on their experience, reliability, commitment, administrative acumen, local representation, women’s place etc.• The international council will convene the assembly. The new team will be chosen from among the candidates. The assembly will record its opinion through secret ballot. Each council member should have obtained more than half the votes cast. If two votings fail to hit this target, the member scoring the highest votes will win.• Members chosen to the international council with more than 50 per cent votes will elect coordinators and assistant coordinators. If, after two consecutive attempts, more than 50 per cent votes cannot be secured, it would suffice to win a relative majority.
• The coordinator of WPM international council assumes the leadership of the Association.• He will organise and preside over council meetings.• His operational boundaries will include international cooperation, and the dealings of animators and chaplains with ecclesiastical authorities.• Continual communication with the basic communities is a duty of the international coordinator.• He will represent the Association in society and the Church.• The supreme power to execute the decisions of the international council is vested in the international coordinator.• He will take care of all the property and assets of the Association with the cooperation of the finance coordinator.• Before executing personal decisions, he shall take into consideration the opinions of the international council with regard to the following:a) when expenses exceed the budget approved by the councilb) when introducing substantial changes in the current policies and manners of operationc) when putting into practice new international projects.
To complete the works of the coordinator, the assistant coordinator will be at hand with support.
Following the coordinator’s advice, the assistant coordinator is eligible to carry out such jobs.
• The international finance coordinator should prove helpful to the international coordinator. The international finance coordinator who is not a member of the international council will be appointed by a majority of the council members. The finance coordinator shall work under the guidance of the council.• The Association’s international council gets its pontifical approval through the bishop who works with WPM.
Chaplain of the international council
When appointing the chaplain of the international council, in order to utilize his services, the international coordinator shall obtain permission from the higher authorities of the Church. This same method should be followed when appointing a priest as animator of the international council.
• The animator of the international council should be either a priest, a believer or a person chosen according to article 35.
There will be an international office to assist the international coordinator to carry out the daily business of the Association. This office will have an executive officer and office staff as helpers.
International formation team
It is this team that prepares the international formation plans of the Association. The international council nominates and appoints the team director and team members. The formation team’s tenure will be subject to review once in three years and to reappoint it or not is the privilege of the international council.
International mission team• The international mission team coordinates international ministry projects and programs. The international council nominates and appoints the mission team director and members. The coordinator will ipso facto be an ex-officio member of the mission team. The operations of this team are subject to review in three years’ time by the international council which may select a new team if necessary.
World peace continental / sub-continental teams
The international council will appoint local teams on different continents and sub-continents and maintain them in harmony with the national councils.
The following fall within the jurisdiction of the national assembly.
a) Regular members
b) Regular members chosen from among primary assemblies. This will have representation from all regular members. The chosen members from each region will be proportionate to the number of elected members. If a country has more than seven regions, a region should not delegate more than 30 per cent of its members to the assembly.
Members of national council
Of the regular members of the association, up to 10 per cent are worthy to be invited to the national council.
The assembly delegates number is restricted to between 50 and 200.
Members from the higher council
Of the whole delegates in the assembly, at least 50 per cent should be elected members.
The national council shall convene the national assembly at least once in three years. The quorum will consist of half the total delegates. In extraordinary situations, a national council may convene extraordinary assembly with permission from the international council.
Duties of the international assembly
1. National council election
2. gathering data, evaluation and planning future projects
The national council shall consist of the national coordinator, assistant coordinator, elected members, chaplain, animators, formation director (ex officio), mission director (ex officio) and coordinators of family youth team (ex officio). The number of elected members in the national council shall be between eight and 12.
• Elected members shall have the right to vote in the council.• Membership of the council is restricted to three years.• The number of ex officio members and elected members should not exceed 50 per cent.• The national council should meet minimum three times a year.
• Provide leadership for the Association• Formulate the aims and objectives of the Association• Plan and execute national programs• Promote the growth of the Association in regions and mission areas.• Convene the national assembly• Evaluate the activities of the members• Elect the national formation director and team• Elect the national mission team and national mission director• Carry out the decisions of the international council
Election method of the national council
The national council shall appoint an evaluation committee to conduct the election and to zero in on the right candidates. In this committee there shall be the national chaplain coordinator, a representative of the international council and two regular members (those outside the candidates list but belonging to the covenant phase preferred).
While deciding on candidates, all regional councils’ approval is to be ensured.
It is the evaluation committee that prepares the list of candidates. Members’ experience, commitment, dedication to the Association, administrative skills, along with regional balance and gender balance will be taken into consideration. The number of candidates should be double or maximum three times the number of likely vacancies.
The national council convenes the assembly. The assembly exhibits its favour through secret ballot according as the evaluation committee completes the process. The candidate who secures more than 50 per cent of votes cast wins the election. Should this not happen even after two attempts, then the person with the maximum votes will be chosen.
New members of the national council choose the coordinator and assistant coordinator. The candidate who secures more than 50 per cent of votes cast wins the election. Should this not happen even after two attempts, then the person with the maximum votes will be chosen.
It is the World Peace national council coordinator who controls the administration in each country.
The national coordinator convenes meetings and presides over them. He executes the decisions of the council at the international level and directly keeps in touch with members, animator, chaplain and church authorities. He constantly keeps contacts with upper and lower strata of the Association. It is also his responsibility to promote the fair image of the Association in the community and Church.
The national coordinator puts into practice the decisions of the national council.
Occasions when the national coordinator needs to seek permission from the national council:• When expenses exceed budgetary allocation.• When associations change existing policies or activities• When introducing new national programs
A national assistant coordinator assists the coordinator at all levels. Should the coordinator require the assistant coordinator to substitute for him in his absence, he should readily oblige.• The national coordinator can count on the help of the council. The finance coordinator is bound to explain his actions to the council.• The national council will have a reliable advisor, a capable bishop. This bishop will be immensely helpful in maintaining the coordinator’s good relations with the bishops’ conference. On theoretical issues the bishop shall provide the association suitable guidelines. When the national council chooses this bishop, it should seek the approval of the bishops’ conference.• The Association’s chaplain will be a member of the Association. He will serve as a helper to the national council. The chaplain’s appointment will be in tune with article 34.• The animator of the national council will be a regular member of the Association. He will be a priest or a layman. The appointment will follow the directive of article 35.
National formation team
It will be the national team that coordinates the formation plans of the Association in each country and appoints the national formation team members. The national council will assess and appoint the national formation team after examining its performance for three years. The coordinator of the national council will be an ex officio member of the formation team.
Formation base team
The base team is formed in order to make all members participate in the formation program from the lower levels. Following the national formation team’s directives, base teams will organise formation at other levels.
National mission team
This team coordinates the national missionary projects and programs of the Association. It is the national council that nominates and appoints its director and members. The national coordinator will be an ex officio member of the mission team. The national council decides the tenure of the mission team as three years and renews it.
National youth team
The national youth team is an active component of the world peace national council which coordinates youth activities. Its coordinator will be an ex officio member of the national council.
National family team
The national family team was formed in order to coordinate at the national level family programs of world peace national council. Its coordinator will be an ex officio member of the national council.
Life situation base team
This division was created to promote friendship among students and professionals who work in different fields and to reinforce their cooperation. It pays special attention to the faith formation of children and adolescents. This team works as subordinate functionaries of councils at the national, regional and zonal levels.
This team was formed for the purpose of evangelisation through music, drama and other media. This team also works as subordinate functionaries of councils at the national, regional and zonal levels.
Its structure comprises the following divisions:(1) Regular members(2) Regular members chosen by primary units. They will have representation in the Association. The number of the chosen members will be proportionate to the number of Association members in each region. If a region has more than seven zones, the number of chosen delegates should not exceed 30 per cent.
Regional Council Members
Special invitees. Ten per cent of regular members may be invited to world peace regional council.
The number of delegates to the assembly will be 25 at the minimum and 150 at the upper limit.
Members of higher council from regions
Elected delegates to the assembly should be at least 50 per cent of its membership. Fifty per cent of the delegates formsthe quorum.
If the lowest level assembly in a region is the regional assembly, then all regular members will be included in it. In that case, the quorum will consist of 30 per cent of the total membership.
The regional council consists of the regional coordinator, assistant coordinator, elected members, chaplain and animator besides family and youth team coordinators (ex officio). The number of elected regional council members will be between six and ten.
• Only elected members can exercise their franchise in the council.• The tenure of the regional council will be limited to three years.• The regional council should meet at least four times a year.• A youth team may be set up if at least 25 unmarried youths aged below 35 years can be found at the regional or zonal levels.• A family team may be set up if at least 25 married couples can be found at the regional or zonal levels.• The election methods and operational styles at the regional level will be similar to those at the national level.
All regular members of each zone are also members of the zonal assembly. The quorum in the zonal assembly is 30 per cent of the members.
The zonal council consists of a zonal coordinator, assistant coordinator, elected members, chaplain, animator, diocesan team coordinator [if there is one], family team’s ex-officio coordinators and youth team ex-officio coordinators. The number of elected members of the zonal council will vary between six and ten.
• Only elected members enjoy the right to vote.• The tenure of the council is two years.• The zonal council should meet at least once in two months.• The style of election, activities and controls of the zonalcouncil are similar to the regional and national level councils.
Administration of assets
Since WPM is a private juridical individual entity, following the directives which govern it and subject to the provisions of canon 325 CIC it is not forbidden to amass assets or to undertake projects.
For the administration of assets, the international coordinator may delegate such responsibility to the national council. However, in all such cases, the provisions of the civil laws of the country must be paid heed to.
According to its convenience, the Association can buy/receive movable and immoveable property and make use of it for its programs.
Within the constraints of the annual budget approved by the international council, with the assistance of the finance coordinator, the international coordinator may take care of the Association’s financial aspects. A detailed finance report of the activities of the Association must be presented for the council’s approval. They should also seek the council’s approbation for all extra-budgetary expenses.
The finance team comprises the council coordinator, finance coordinator and two members who help to ensure that the guidelines detailed by canon law 1280 CIC are followed in toto make up the finance team.
The world peace councils at the lower level must strictly follow the guidelines of the international council regarding the money they handle for various purposes and submit their financial reports to the higher councils every year.
Contributions and grants• Every regular member following their agreement with the Association decides on an amount to be contributed according to their income and family circumstances.• Taking into consideration its financial status, the Association may raise fund-raising campaigns and welcome grants and public contributions.
Audit at national and international levels
The councils shall appoint a three-member internal audit team. It is the responsibility of this team to audit the Association’s annual accounts.
Dismissal of the Association
It is the international assembly that has the sole right to disband the Association and to end its operations. This should be done after consulting the Pontifical Council. It also requires the assent of ¾ of the members of the international assembly.
In case the decision to disband WPM is taken, with due consideration to the opinion of world peace international and after due consultation with the Pontifical Council, its assets should be handed over to any Roman Catholic church that carries on the work of evangelisation.
The supreme power to reform its constitutions rests with the international assembly. It is the international council that presents proposals for constitutional reforms to the international assembly. If WPM’s 2/3 members permit the introduction of constitutional reforms, it may be carried out. In this matter, the Pontifical Council too must be approached for approval.