Explore a Monastic Vocation
Who We Are
- Ordinary men who have made an extraordinary choice.
- We are a diverse community of men from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and age groups with the common purpose of giving ourselves fully to God’s love, and experiencing that love, as it is manifested in community at a deep, soulful, and trusting level.
- We strive to become the truest essence of ourselves—who God truly created us to be.
- We encourage and support each other to engage life fully. This includes facing, processing, and integrating our struggles and challenges with courage and with the love of our community.
- We nurture community life based on intimate relationships of trust and openness with one another.
- We celebrate seasons: the seasons of the calendar year, the seasons of the liturgical year, the seasons of the day, and the seasons of human life.
What’s great about the monastic life at Holy Cross Monastery?
- We strive to maintain a balance between prayer, work, study, rest, and recreation.
- We strive to maintain a balance between times of solitude, silence, and fellowship.
- We create beautiful liturgy with an emphasis on simplicity and solemnity.
- We enjoy a variety of preaching styles.
- We enjoy chanting together and becoming a unified voice to glorify God.
- We foster an environment of creativity and beauty.
- We enjoy meeting all kinds of people through our guest ministry and welcoming them as Christ.
- We enjoy the opportunity to lead meaningful retreats in creative ways.
- We enjoy opportunities of engaging in interesting ministry and relating to the wider church from the perspective of who we are as monks in the twenty-first century.
Why monastic life?
Monastic life is an alternative to society’s emphasis on status, consumerism, and acquisition, as well as the notion that our self-worth is not measured by our success and what we do, produce or own. Instead, monks choose to live communally, holding all in common. Through our way of life, we proclaim that our being and the way we love is what is valuable and precious to God.
What is the process of becoming a monk?
The process begins when you complete our Introductory Questionnaire and contact our Director of Vocations. He will schedule several conversations with you and meetings between you and other brothers in the community so that you can get to know us better. When possible, several visits to the monastery are beneficial.
When you and the Director of Vocations agree that you are ready to take the next step, he’ll schedule a two-week aspirant visit. During this visit, you’ll live in the monastic enclosure and participate in our community’s life and work. After your aspirant visit, with consultation from the community, the Director of Vocations, on behalf of the Superior, extends a formal invitation to apply for admission to the postulancy.
This is a six-month period of prayer and study under the guidance of the Formator. It includes an introduction to Benedictine monasticism as it is lived here at Holy Cross. Although the postulant is free to terminate his postulancy at any time, this time is one of mutual discernment with the Superior, Formator, and community. If the mutual discernment is to continue, the postulant makes a request to the Superior to be clothed as a novice.
The novice receives the white habit of the Order without the profession cross. During this period, the novice continues his formation and discernment under the guidance of the Formator for the period of one year. It is a time of further integration into the monastic way of life and exploration of the meaning of the monastic vow and practices through prayer, study and work. Near the end of this period, if the mutual discernment is to continue, the novice requests profession of the three-fold Benedictine vow (Obedience, Stability, and Conversion to the monastic way, which includes celibate chastity and common ownership).
The initially professed monk receives the white cowl worn in church. By living the vow, the monk further internalizes the monastic way of life. His sense of belonging to the community deepens. He explores the various ministries of the Order, discerning how to best serve the community. After at least three years in temporary vows, the monk may request Life Profession and so bind himself to the Order for the rest of his life. The monk receives the ebony cross at Life Profession.