Religious Orders and Christian Communities

“Guide and sanctify, we pray, those whom You call to follow You under the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 819)

Religious Orders and Christian Communities

Conference of Anglican Religious Orders in the Americas (CAROA)
CAROA includes 23 Religious Communities in the Americas that are part of the Worldwide Anglican (Episcopal) Communion. Some of these Orders are of men, some of women, and some include both. There is great diversity among our communities in terms of worship practice and standard of living, but all our communities embrace celibacy, community of goods, and obedience to a Rule and Constitution.

National Association of Episcopal Christian Communities (NAECC)
NAECC is a coalition of Christian Communities recognized under the canons of The Episcopal Church working with communities in formation, dedicated to sharing and communicating the fruits of the Gospel — realized in a community — with the church and the world.

Communities of Women

Community of St. Francis
An international community of women belonging to the Anglican Communion who seek to live the Gospel life fervently in the Church and the world, after the example of St. Francis of Assisi. Francis was afire with the love of Christ which impelled him to live with an attitude of humble respect and love for all of creation.

Community of St. John Baptist
A Community made up of monastic women, who live together under the traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Their life includes daily participation in the Eucharist and the Divine Office, prayer, and ministry to those in need. They live by an Augustinian Rule, which emphasizes Community spirit.

Community of St. Mary, Eastern Province
An Anglican/Episcopalian Religious Order for women with houses in upstate New York and northern Malawi, Africa, ​founded in 1865.

Community of St. Mary, Southern Province
The Community of St. Mary, Southern Province, is a women’s Benedictine community within The Episcopal Church that expresses its way of life through care for the body, the soul, and the earth.

Community of the Holy Spirit
Located in New York, NY, the Sisters of this monastic community respond to that invitation by an intentional living out of the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience within the structure of a modified Augustinian Rule. The Sisters also provide spiritual support for women and men who wish to be linked with our Community as Associates. By adopting a personal rule of life, they extend the Community’s ministry through prayer, worship and service.

Community of the Sisters of the Church
The Community of the Sisters of the Church is an international body of women within the Anglican Communion, living under the gospel values of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, desiring to be faithful to the traditions of the Religious Life while exploring new ways of expressing them and of living community life and ministry today. By our worship, ministry, and life in community, we desire to be channels of the reconciling love and acceptance of Christ, to acknowledge the dignity of every person, and to enable others to encounter the living God whom we seek.

Community of the Transfiguration
We, the Sisters of the Transfiguration, are women, lay and ordained, living together under religious vows of Poverty, Chastity & Obedience. Our Convent is in Cincinnati, OH, with a branch house in northern Ohio. We run a day school, a spirituality center, and a recreation center in a disadvantaged community. Our most important ministries are prayer, worship, hospitality and spiritual direction. 

Order of Julian of Norwich
A contemplative monastic order in The Episcopal Church under the patronage of Julian of Norwich, currently located in White Lake, Wisconsin. The resident, monastic affiliation of the Order is open to lay and ordained women. The life is that of liturgical, intercessory and silent prayer, community life, manual labor and study on the Benedictine pattern, with traditional monastic vows of Stability, Conversion of Life, and Obedience. Non-resident Oblate and Associate affiliations with the Order are open to men and women, lay and ordained.

Order of St. Helena
The mission of the Order of Saint Helena is to show forth Christ through a life of monastic prayer, hospitality and service. We are lay and ordained women living communally under a vow of monastic poverty, celibate chastity and obedience to God.  From Benedictine roots, we discern new ways to interpret traditional monasticism, as we strive to grow in diversity and inclusivity.

Sisterhood of St. John the Divine
The Sisterhood of St. John the Divine is a contemporary expression of the religious life for women within the Anglican Church of Canada. Nurtured by our founding vision of prayer, community and ministry, we are open and responsive to the needs of the church and the contemporary world, continually seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our life and ministry.

Sisterhood of the Holy Nativity (SHN)
Based in Ripon, Wisconsin, this Religious Order of women in The Episcopal Church has a dedication to the Incarnation of our Lord. The Sisters live in a community and observe daily monastic offices and the Holy Eucharist.

Sisters of St. Anne – Bethany
A small, multi-cultural community of women, committed to witnessing to the truth that as 21st century Christians, we belong to this age, this society; and that it is here and now that we demonstrate to the Church and the world that the religious life lived in community is relevant, fulfilling and needed in our world and times. We believe that God has a vision for each one of us and that opportunities to serve the Church and the world are abundant.

Society of St. Margaret
An Episcopal religious community of women seeking to find Jesus present in worship, in the common life, and ministries which concentrate on responding to the needs of time.

Communities of Men

Order of the Holy Cross (Benedictine)
The Order is a Benedictine Anglican monastic community founded in 1884 by James Otis Sargent Huntington to provide a specifically North American expression of monasticism.

Society of St. Francis
A world-wide Franciscan community within the Anglican Communion. The American Province is part of The Episcopal Church. It is a society of men who live under vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. In addition to the work of prayer, most of the Brothers are engaged in work outside the friary.

Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE)
SSJE was founded in the parish of Cowley in Oxford, England, by Richard Meux Benson in 1866. Brothers of the North American Congregation live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near Harvard Square, and at Emery House in West Newbury, Massachusetts. They gather throughout the day to pray the Divine Office, and live under a modern Rule of Life, adopted in 1997. At profession, they take vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience

St. Gregory’s Abby (Benedictine)
A community of men living under the Rule of Saint Benedict within The Episcopal Church. The center of the monastery’s life is the Abbey Church, where God is worshiped in the daily round of Eucharist, Divine Office, and private prayer. Also offered to God are the monks’ daily manual work, study and correspondence, ministry to guests, and occasional outside engagements.

The Society of St. Paul (SSP)
The Society of St. Paul (SSP) is an Anglican monastic community in the United States. Founded in 1958, it was the first community for men recognized by the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Other communities for men existed but were founded in England. It describes its mission as one of pilgrimage, prophecy, and exploration of “the emerging spirituality and ministry of the twenty-first century.” The order includes a confraternity, The Fellowship of St. Paul. The house is located in San Diego, California.

Communities of Men and Women

The Order of the Ascension
The Order of the Ascension founded in 1983 has helped ground and center its members in their daily life and their roles as parish leaders and developers. The House of Bishop’s Committee on Religious Communities has granted OA recognition as an Episcopal Community under the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church. Members take a Promise “to seek the presence of Jesus Christ in the people, things and circumstances of life through stability, obedience and conversion of life.” 

NAECC Communities

Canonically recognized communities

Anamchara Fellowship
Founded in the tradition of The Episcopal Church, with a Celtic spirit. Anamchara fellowship has received canonical recognition by the House of Bishops’ Committee on the Religious Life.

Anglican Order of Preachers
The Order of Preachers is a Christian religious order, and spiritual tradition founded by Saint Dominic de Guzman in the 13th century with roots in earlier monastic traditions, dating back to the earliest periods of Christianity. It was not until the last years of the 20th century that an expression of Dominican spirituality and life could be found outside of the Roman Catholic Church.

Brotherhood of Saint Gregory
A Christian Community of The Episcopal Church, whose members follow a common rule and serve the church on parochial, diocesan, and national levels. Members–clergy and lay, without regard to marital status–live individually, in small groups, or with their families. They support themselves and the community through their secular or church-related work, making use of their God-given talents in the world while not being of the world.

Community of Celebration
The Community’s home is in Aliquippa (near Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania, with members living in England. They are different from traditional orders and their membership includes men and women, married and single, adults and children, clergy and laity. Their rule of life is a modified Benedictine Rule.

Community of the Gospel
We are a non-residential Monastic Community in North America whose members try to help each other build a closer relationship with Christ. We do this by living a monastic life of daily prayer, reflective study, and personal service in the secular world.  We seek to demonstrate our faith in unique ways as best we can, while allowing our lives to be transformed by God.

Community of the Paraclete
This Order is comprised of men and women of all ages, both single and married. Paracletian religious life supports the search for God in all facets of existence, so that the whole of life becomes a single, integrated spiritual practice. They believe strongly in the importance of face-to-face community life for all members, and work hard to create local chapters wherever their members locate.

Companions of St. Luke – Benedictine
A community whose pursuit of union with God is hallmarked by individual prayer life, communal prayer offices, work and ministry. The community is rooted in the ancient tradition of the Rule of St. Benedict. Through the 1500 years since the writing of the Rule, Benedictines have taken the model of the Rule and modified it to meet historical and cultural needs.

Little Sisters of St. Clare
We are a women’s contemplative community desiring to bring the spirituality of St. Clare into our churches. Our primary ministry is prayer and it is molded by our Franciscan roots. We welcome inquiries from all women who discern a call to Christian community. We live independently and serve in various parishes in the Diocese of Olympia, Washington.

Rivendell Community
Rivendell is a Eucharistic community working and praying to renew the vision of the Church as a holy priesthood, in and on behalf of the world. The Community seeks to provide well-educated and holy priestly ministry for smaller, less affluent, struggling churches, and to create and serve houses of prayer and hospitality. The Motherhouse is in Dunnegan, Missouri. Members include women and men; celibate and married; lay, ordained, residential and non-residential.

Sisters of Saint Gregory
A canonically recognized community of women in The Episcopal Church who have been called together by God to live the vowed life in a diversity of styles and spiritualities in the world.

Society of St. Anna the Prophet
We are a dispersed community of Episcopal women over 50 years old who are living the Christian life within vows of simplicity, creativity, and balance.  We are lay and ordained. We are single, married, partnered, divorced, and widowed.  Some of us are retired, some work part-time, and some are working actively in full-time positions.

Third Order Society of St. Francis, Province of the Americas
The Third Order of the Society of St. Francis is an Anglican/Episcopal religious order for people of all kinds—single and in committed relationships, lay and ordained—who live by Franciscan principles “in the world.” This is the order founded by Francis himself for those who were drawn to his way but felt called to live it out right where they were.

Worker Brothers of the Holy Spirit
The Worker Brothers of the Holy Spirit, named for the Worker Priests of France who sought to be workers-among-workers on docks and in factories, is a Covenant Community which offers women and men, regardless of marital status, a path for individual spiritual growth through prayer, worship, becoming, discovery, belonging, relating, commitment, and mission.

Worker Sisters of the Holy Spirit
The Worker Sisters of the Holy Spirit, named for the Worker Priests of France who sought to be workers-among-workers on docks and in factories, is a Covenant Community which offers women and men, regardless of marital status, a path for individual spiritual growth through prayer, worship, becoming, discovery, belonging, relating, commitment, and mission

Associates

Seeking canonical recognition

Community of Francis and Clare
The Community of Francis and Clare is a contemporary vowed community of religious women and men who live a common life of prayer and service within The Episcopal Church, its Communion Partners, and the worldwide Anglican Communion. We seek to follow Jesus in the Franciscan tradition by living simply and humbly, serving and praying with and for the marginalized members of our communities, and by helping to rebuild the church in our day to day contexts. As a contemporary expression of the Franciscan tradition, members are lay and clergy, partnered or single, live individually or in common with their families and support themselves through a secular or church-related employment. We have diverse ministries in our communities, as the Spirit and the needs of the church lead us.

Companions of Our Lady of Walsingham (OLW)
Companions of Our Lady of Walsingham is a modern Marian and Benedictine Monastic Community, and heirs of the Anglican Tradition and Benedictine Monasticism. The Holy Rule of St. Benedict is a foundation source of inspiration and spirituality. We profess the ancient Monastic vows of Stability, Obedience, and Conversion of Life. In imitation of Our Lady of Walsingham and Saints Benedict and Scholastica, we seek to live our charism of hospitality as we, “Welcome all as Christ.” Companions include lay and ordained women and men of diverse ages, social statuses, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Companions may be married, partnered, single, or celibate. The balance of the Via Media is our guiding principle: “All may, some should, none must.” 

The Communion of the Mystic Rose
An initiatory fellowship of spiritual pilgrims in passionate pursuit of the inner flowering of Wisdom; a canonical, vowed religious community of the Episcopal Church, with deep roots in early Christianity and the ancient Western Mysteries. The heart of our charism is the pursuit of theosis (‘divinization’) through the deep inner work of the mystical Christian life, as inherited from the earliest streams of the monastic tradition. We strive for the holistic, life-giving transformation of ourselves and the world around us in the context of a fresh, loving, contemplative, and expansive expression of vowed religious life realistically integrated into our twenty-first-century context without compromising the depth or demands of our vocations. Our lives are consecrated to the Blessed Mother, and devoted to continual study, contemplation, and the inner arts of spiritual development, in search of the Philosopher’s Stone, the sacred Grail: the Mystic Rose of Divine Wisdom, which is the summum bonum of all human spiritual endeavor.

The Community of the Mother of Jesus (CMJ)
We follow Jesus by imitating the model of discipleship lived by Mary, his mother. We minister to our neighbors who are in need and profess the vows of Justice, Tenderness, Humility, and Contemplation. We follow a community rule called, Mary’s Way of Discipleship and prayer the daily office, and the rosary. We live and work in the world and come together frequently to experience the community through prayer, study, service, and the Eucharist. We welcome women and men, lay and ordained, regardless of age, citizenship, sexual orientation, marital status, or socioeconomic status. We wear habits of light grey and blue for liturgical and ministerial use.

Observers

Not currently seeking canonical recognition

Companions of Dorothy the Worker
The Companions of Dorothy the Worker is an ecumenical Christian community, dispersed or under one roof; encouraging each other and supporting each other in ministry; living by the work of our own hands; depending on God as we strive to make God’s love felt in the queer community, which has been marginalized by the Church and the World. We accomplish this ministry by being active companions, living and participating with the people we serve; modeling Christ’s love.

Missioners of Transformation (MOT)
Our mission is to assist in the revitalization of the church in a period of cultural transition and uncertainty and to transform individuals from spiritual awareness into incarnational practice. As New-Monastics we seek members who are or can be trained in specific ministries such as evangelization in the post-Christian world, liturgy development for alternatives in worship and prayer, and community building. We are totally inclusive in membership and strive to achieve respect for equality among the gifts and talents of all. We welcome the contribution of children and adolescents to the mission of the community and appropriate events. 

Sam Shoemaker Community
A growing community where Christ and recovery are shared and the lives of addicts transformed. Our Principles are that we draw closer to God and to one another through the practice of Two Way Prayer and the Four Standards of Absolute Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, and Love; we follow the ancient, monastic tradition of carrying the Good News to those living on the edges of society – be they spiritual, social, or economic; We practice “the spirituality of descent” known as kenosis; the same “self-emptying” found in the mind of Christ and at the heart of the 12-Step journey, and We keep alive for new generations the Christian roots of the 12-Steps through our personal Service Fields to which we are called. Sam Shoemaker Community is a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

St. Hildegard’s Community
St. Hildegard’s Community follows a three-fold path of contemplation, non-violent engagement, and intimacy in community.  We sing, dance, and point the way of Jesus in our weekly Eucharists and offer transformative classes and retreats in our Servant Leadership School. We have been an intentional non-residential community within St. George’s parish in Austin, Texas since 1996. Members include women and men, single, married, and partnered. 

Religious Orders and Christian Communities