How We're Organized
Our Canon Communities conform to the Rule of St. Benedict as adapted by our Customary. Each House is established by the Prior General and is chartered by the diocesan Bishop in whose jurisdiction the community is located — the diocesan Bishop acts as ‘Bishop Protector’. Each community elects a Prior to lead them who then sits on the Superiors’ Council. The Priors elect the Prior General to serve them and the various communities as primus inter pares.
Canon Communities include professed Brothers and Sisters (those in solemn and temporary vows, novices and postulants) but may also include Oblates and supporters known as Friends. Communities in formation are under the guidance and jurisdiction of the Prior General. Communities in formation become independent when they are asked by the Prior General to elect a Religious Superior.
The Superiors’ Council exists to enhance the bonds of affection that exist between each of our communities. Rather than being a legislative body, it provides opportunities for support and spiritual growth amongst our leadership and community members. The body organizes, from time to time, agreed upon house-wide projects and activities such as retreats and the co-ordination of our web-site. The Council fosters a friendly love and co-operation between the Canon Communities of St. Benedict as a spiritual ‘family in several locations’.
Each independent house takes the name of a patron and elects a Prior. This individual takes a seat on the Superiors’ Council and is ultimately responsible for the souls under his or her cure. Brothers and Sisters make solemn (permanent) or simple (temporary) vows. This means that the Benedictine life is first in their lives and they are fully committed to the Benedictine disciplines and their particular Benedictine community. Oblates are those who want to live the Benedictine life but who can’t fulfill all of the obligations but want to do their best and want to support the community with which they are associated. They do not wear the habit (only the medal). Friends are just that—people who enjoy the company of the community and support the vocation of the vowed members.