Becoming a Brother or Sister is one of the most rewarding personal life altering choices you can make. I will tell you from personal experience, your relationship with Jesus Christ, God and the Holy Spirit will grow tenfold. You will discover a peace in your heart that you never thought possible.
The Anglican Order of Saint Patrick is a modified Order. We are a non-cloistered order - means we do not live in a monastery. Each Brother or Sister lives in their local community, most have a secular job, and many have families. For over 15 years we were the Anglican Order of St. Benedict. In 2023 we decided to change our name to better match our ethos.
We are a Missional Order, which means that our purpose is to go out into the world and make disciples everywhere. First and foremost, we are to be an example in our home parish. By our example, we are to show what it means to follow Christ and to live a Christ center life. We do this by: daily prayer, being active in church life and doing some type of ministry.
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As being Benedictine in our practices, we are required to pray several times a day. Since most members have secular jobs, seven times a day is tough for most. Our Order requires Anglican Morning and Evening Prayer and Compline (end of the day). Don't worry, this doesn't happen overnight, it takes time to build this habit into your life.
Brothers and Sisters start off as novices, which lasts two years. During that time, a profess Brother or Sister will mentor you. Besides helping with adapting prayer into your life, we also have you take classes through our Theological Institute and pick up a ministry in your church, so over that time you learn how to become a Brother or Sister. Grow the individual, grow thee church and grow the community that is our goal!
Let me be clear, this is not an easy path to follow. It is a life changing experience that requires a lot of dedication and commitment to daily prayer and personal sacrifices. We are not about power or money, we are about simplicity of life and Jesus Christ.
First Level is Postulant: This is one who has made application to the Abbot /Prior, has been accepted to the Order, and awaits investiture as a Novice. This is a time of introduction to the Order and is it a right fit for you. The Postulant length is typically 4-6 months.
Second Level is Novice: This is one who vows to a testing period of two years. These vows are taken in the presence of the Abbot / Prior, or a priest appointed by the Abbot / Prior The purpose of the Novitiate is to allow the Order to determine if the candidate has a true vocation, and for the candidate to discern if God is calling him or her to the Religious life. This is also a time of study, including, but not limited to: Monasticism, Scriptures, Anglicanism, Liturgical Worship, etc. Also, service is required in your church and community.
Third Level is Professed: They make a formal, open promise to follow the Rule of the Order in their private life. They profess this as their final vows of the Order. These vows are taken in the presence of the Abbot / Prior. These vows can only be rescinded by Council. They are active members dedicated to the service of God and prayer in their life. .
Oblates: are individuals, either laypersons or clergy, normally living in general society, who, while not professed brothers or sisters, have individually affiliated themselves with a monastic community of their choice. They make a formal, private promise to follow the Rule of the Order in their private life as closely as their individual circumstances and prior commitments permit. Such oblates do not constitute a separate religious order as such but are considered an extended part of the monastic community.
What made St. Patrick, Celtic Movement, so successful in converting Ireland to Christianity? It was the use of a large monastic movement. What Patrick's successors did was to adopt his principle of indigenous Christianity and extended it. They learned about 'monasteries' from Eastern Christianity, then they radically adapted the idea of the monastery to Ireland. The resulting community was so different from many of the eastern monasteries that we need a distinct term such as "monastic communities".
The largest difference is, these monastic communities produced a less individualistic approach, but a more community-oriented approach to the Christianity and life. This lead to two important things for the growth of the individual and the church, it brought people into friendships and made connections through a community of believers.
The biggest complaint we hear today is that I really don’t have very many close friends, I am not really connected to anything or anyone. Modern society with all of its high-tech gadgets and gizmos, the fast pace of life, has left us in a state of being isolated. Hard to believe I know. We were never meant to be unconnected from the community, family and friends. But we are, everyone is going in their own direction at a thousand miles an hour or plugged into a video game for hours on end. It is time to unplug. It is time to give people a place to connect, something to give their life meaning and purpose, time to make them part of a community.
Celtic Christians also had a great love for nature. They understood the natural cycle of things, the process of the life and how it was supposed to be, they understood life needed to be balanced. It was easy for them to see God in and connected to all things. Peace comes from learning the balance of life.
Celtic Christians understood the Good News of a different kind of God. God is not hostile, capricious, or self-seeking; He is for us, he loves people, and He wills their deliverance from sin and pain into new life.
Celtic way of Monasticism is help the individual connect with God, the loving God, and bring peace into their life by slowing down to focus on God's word and spending time with Him, so they can hear what God purpose and direction is for them. Through prayer, nature, friendships, and a connection to a community of fellow believers.
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We band ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ, personally committed to sharing the good news of salvation to lost mankind.