1. How is the Community a Benedictine monastery?
The Community of Jesus is an ecumenical monastic community, governed by an elected Superior, whose members follow a Rule of Life (modeled after the Rule of Benedict), and make lifetime professions including the vow of stability. The Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office) is prayed at fixed times throughout each day.
2. How does a person join the Community?
After visiting the Community several times, and attending retreats, a person who senses a possible vocation may apply for residency, requesting to live in a Community household for an extended period of time. After a period of mutual discernment from a Vocation Discernment Team, a Formation Director, and the Superior, a person seeking to pursue God’s will as a member of the Community of Jesus would pursue the steps of postulancy and novitiate for an extensive time, prior to making a simple profession.
3. Can someone who is not a Community member come to church here?
We welcome all to join us for worship—weekday Vespers, Saturday Choral Evensong, and Sunday Lauds, and Eucharist. At Eucharist, all Christians are welcome to receive communion. Though we lament our divisions, we respect the laws of your church that may restrict some of you from partaking.
4. What order of worship do you use at Eucharist? Who presides/celebrates?
The Eucharistic liturgy incorporates forms and prayers shared by most major branches of the church, drawing from both early Christian sources and contemporary expressions. It is similar to the order of worship used in most Protestant and Roman Catholic Eucharistic liturgies—opening with the Prayer of the Day, Liturgy of the Word (Old Testament, Psalm, New Testament, Gospel), Homily, Creed, Confession, Intercessions, Eucharistic Prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, and Prayer after Communion. The lectionary is the common three-year lectionary, used by both Protestants and Roman Catholics today. One of the resident ordained clergy (from five denominations) celebrates the Mass.
5. How do you support yourselves?
All of the “household members” (families with children and single adults who live in privately owned multifamily homes) are responsible for their own financial support. However, as stated in the Rule of Life, “We place all our possessions at the service of God and the benefit of the Community. We consider nothing that we possess as our ‘own’ but rather, holding property in the spirit of detachment, we administer goods on behalf of one another’s needs and for the sake of the common good. This sacrifice and integration of goods gives a sense of extended family within each household, and provides countless practical opportunities for ‘bearing one another’s burdens’ toward the goal of following Christ. The Brothers and Sisters make a profession of poverty and depend upon the larger Community for their welfare.” (Rule of Life, “Stewardship”) The Community of Jesus is supported by gifts from its members and friends, and from Priory Books & Gifts.
6. How is the Community governed?
The Community is governed by an elected Superior, the Rule of Life, and the authority of Chapter. The many and varied administrative responsibilities are shared by Deans, the Council, Officers of the Chapter, and all Community members.
7. Where do the children go to school?
Although it varies according to the individual needs of each child, most of the children of Community members attend the local elementary school, and then for middle and high school are home-schooled by educated members of the Community.
8. How was the Church building project funded?
The Church project continues to be funded through sacrificial gifts from members and friends who want to support the Community, the Church of the Transfiguration, and the various arts involved in the Church, and to memorialize loved ones and commemorate special occasions or events.