Religious Life

Our life in community springs first and foremost from the contemporary world, from its pressures, problems, cultures, and ways, and from how we respond to those. Our particular response is based on ancient traditions of vowed religious life and the generations of monks, nuns, friars, sisters, hermits, and others who have lived a way of poverty, celibacy, and obedience to God. These traditional vows have basic implications for our life:

  • Poverty: We strive towards non-attachment to worldly things. We live together as we move towards holding all things in common. We strive to live simply and use our resources ethically. For those among us who will take life vows, at that time we renounce individual ownership, while recognizing that there will be certain items reserved for one’s exclusive use, particularly personal items.
  • Celibacy: We strive towards non-attachment to people. Of course, this still means caring deeply about other people. Indeed, part of celibacy springs from a desire to serve our neighbors, which means resisting attachments that would come ahead of that. Instead of a partner, family, or career, our primary relationship and commitment is to God and our community.
  • Obedience: We strive towards non-attachment to our own wills. We are not obedient to any one person, but instead, to God and to our Rule. We live this out by listening to one another, to ourselves, and to God in all things. We strive for a culture of radical honesty and acceptance. We recognize that all have—and will again—sin and fall short of the glory of God, but by practicing radical honesty about our shortcomings, we can lovingly help each other stay on right paths.

In the ways we live into these vows, we are inspired especially by the early Anglican sisterhoods, the active Carmelite life, and Ignatian Spirituality. Our Rule of Life is the Carmelite Rule of St. Albert, accompanied by an evolving commentary from the community.