A small community with its own constitution which is based on the Gospel
Considered a civil association by the State
Considered a parish by the Church
Laws, elections and decisions must be unanimously approved of
Nomadelfia is more a people than a community. It has its own history, culture, law and language. It has its own way of life and its own tradition. Its population is composed of men, women, priests, families and children.
HOW TO BECOME A NOMADELFIAN. People are not born Nomadelfian; they deliberately choose to become part of this community. Many children, once having come of age, decide to leave the community. Those that wish to become Nomadelfian are first put on a three year probation period. At the end of this trial period, if they have been accepted, the contitution is signed at the altar in front of the entire community.
Becoming a Nomadelfian means a life of dedication. A member may, however, leave the community at any time.
ALL PROPERTY IS HELD IN COMMON.The economic resources come from work, government assistance and benefactors, especially through activities in the apostolate, publications, Entertainment Evenings and meetings.
Nomadelfians must obey the dispositions of the respective departments and must be available for any job or transfer.
RELIGION. Nomadelfia bases itself on the Catholic religion. The Church recognized the community and made it a parish in 1962. As far as worship, doctrine and customs are concerned, Nomadelfia abides to the worship, doctrine and customs of the Catholic Church.
THE CONSTITUTION. For the Italian State, Nomadelfia is a civil association organized as a co-operative labor association. The community is run on a constitution which is based on the Gospel and democratic.
Those who effectively become part of Nomadelfia (which means signing the constitution) make up the Assembly , which exercises legislative power and elects government representatives.
All laws, decisions and elections must be approved by the majority and must be confirmed with a unanimous vote.
The Presidency exercises executive power and organizes daily life.
The Stewardship is in charge of administration.
The Council of the Elderly elects and checks the stewardship and acts as arbitrator in case the Assembly has not decided unanimously.
The Judges' College intervenes when contrasting opinions arise and makes certain that all the departments' acts are constitutional.
The Founder's Successor is a priest. His task is to guarantee that life in Nomadelfia is in harmony with the founder's spirit, the Gospel and the constitution.
From the NOMADELFIANS' CONSTITUTION
In order to become a Nomadelfian, one must meet a number of requirements.
The candidate must be 21 years of age and must be a practicing Catholic who lives according to the teachings and discipline of the Apostolic Catholic Church.
He must live only on what is given to him by the Association.
He must accept poverty, although he will have whatever necessary for a decent life.
He must be generous in his manners and he may not work for a third party.
He may not hire workers and must not take part in activities for personal or family benefit.
He must not speculate on the work of others.
The Nomadelfian community must live moderately, according to human needs, to the spirit of the evangelical councils and particulary according to the "Sermon of the Mountain".
Nomadelfians are not allowed to argue among themselves. If a conflict arises between two or more Nomadelfians or postulators, they are sent to a Judge who is appointed by the college to act as conciliator. If a member does not accept the Judge's decision, he must leave the community or else undergo a trial.
- The children are consigned to the families with Christ's words: Woman, here is your son; son here is your mother
- Joint "fatherhood and motherhood"
- 11 family groups of 4 or 5 families
- The group has a common house for the day with bedrooms located all around
- The family groups are changed every three years
THE FAMILIES. Nomadelfia presently consists of 50 families which are either "mothers of vocation" or married couples.
The "mothers of vocation" are women that have given up the idea of marriage to live a virgin motherhood and to welcome and educate abandoned youngsters. The married couples welcome the children in the same spirit.
THE CHILDREN. The president, in the name of the community, accepts children upon indication of the social services or judicial authorities and then entrusts them to the families knowing he can count on everyone's availability - one of the requisites to becoming Nomadelfians.
Since 1931, nearly 5,000 abandoned boys and girls have been welcomed into Nomadelfian families.
The children are consigned to the mothers of vocation or the married couples at the altar with the words spoken by Christ to the Holy Mother and John from the cross: "Woman, here is your son. Son, here is your mother".
One of the fundamental principles is a joint "fatherhood and motherhood". All men and women must exercise their motherhood and fatherhood on all the children, even to those that don't belong to their family. They must treat them as equals and use common rules of pedagogy which are inspired by the Gospel.
Once the children have become of age, they may decide whether or not to remain in the community. They are given assistance in case they should choose to leave.
Every family group prays before dinner.
THE FAMILY GROUPS.Fr. Zeno created the "family groups" because he felt that the selfishness which exists within family units is more harmful than individual egoism.
The families do not live in isolation. Each of the 11 groups is composed of 4 or 5 families for a total of 30 people each.
The families share a common house which is equipped with a dining room, kitchen and laboratories. The bedrooms are located in separate small houses.
The prayers said by every group before dinner include excerpts from the Gospel which recall the fundamental aspects of Nomadelfia.
News broadcasts may be watched freely whereas all other programs are chosen and transmitted via cable by the Nomadelfian transmission center.
Saturday afternoons are dedicated to "group work" in the garden, maintenance of the homes and other needs of the family groups.
THE NECESSITIES.There are no stores - only warehouses. Groceries are distributed by the food warehouse. A truck delivers the food to the families. The quantity depends on the number of people in the family. Clothing is provided by the warehouse as well.
Money does not circulate within Nomadelfia. The stewardship is in charge of providing for the families and must keep to the Gospel's spirit of poverty.
THE CHANGE OF GROUPS. Every three years the presidency dissolves the family groups to form new ones. This is done to avoid egoism within the family groups and to promote the capacity to live with others and to detach themselves from material things. Every family naturally remains united and each individual takes with him his most personal belongings.
- No grades are given
- Schooling is mandatory until the age of 18
- Some parents are the teachers and they are called "coordinators"
- The children must take the State exams
Nomadelfia's school is "familiar". It was founded in 1968 when the parents obtained the right to educate their own children from the Department of Education with the obligation to present their children as private students to the State exams at the end of elementary school and junior high school.
"LIVING" SCHOOL. It is a "living" school because every moment of daily life is like attending school since the family, social and natural environments in which the children live are educational. The school groups are called "cycles" and are generally homogenous in age, interests and experiences.
No grades are given and students are neither failed nor passed.
The programs are based on the pedagogical views of Nomadelfia. Attendance is mandatory until the age of 18. If the children wish, they may take their high school exams.
THE ENTIRE POPULATION IS RESPONSIBLE. Every cycle is entrusted to two "coordinators" who are always present. Adults and teachers from outside the community collaborate during secondary schooling for specific subjects.
The students take numerous trips to towns and cities to study the way others live. The students' writings and drawings which result from their observations are collected in books which allow these experiences to be relived. All of this material is presented at the state exams and rouses great interest.
Ample space is dedicated to artistic expression: drawing, music, gym. A great deal of importance is placed on the dancing school which prepares the children for the "Nomadelfian Entertainment Evenings".
- There are no employers and employees
- There is no exploitation
- The firms are run in a brotherly manner and every one is a co-manager
- No one is paid and there is no private property
- Everyone is available for any kind of work
- Repetitive or heavy work is done together
- There are no strikes and there is no absenteeism
A NEW SOCIAL SOLUTION: BROTHERHOOD. "Neither servant nor master". After Fr. Zeno's talk with his anarchic friend, and in function of the decision he took at the age of 20, Nomadelfians work only within their community's firms. They cannot hire and they cannot be hired.
THE FIRMS. The firms are run in a brotherly fashion and the workers are not allowed to take advantage of each other. The presidency nominates a manager for each firm who must run it in harmony with the other firms of the community. He must justify regular activity to the presidency and special activity to the Assembly.
AVAILABILITY. There are no career possibilities and everyone must be available for any kind of work indicated by the presidency in accordance with the community's needs and the individual's capacities.
Certain jobs are done in turn by everyone: night guard, stable work on feast days and accompaniment of visitors.
NO ONE IS PAID. No one owns any private property. Unemployment does not exist in Nomadelfia.
The elderly and handicapped work as much as they are able and no one feels useless.
THE HOURS. The Nomadelfians' work week begins on Monday and ends on Saturday and have a 5 hour work day. They hold jobs in firms, workshops, schools and offices. In the afteroons, specialized work may be substituted by "joint work" which is done by the entire population.