Pathways to Companionship
We are looking for a new way to build community, a way that bridges the “monastic” community with the extended community, and beyond these to others who share our vision. We do not erase the distinction between vowed life and covenanted commitment, but we see them as points on a continuum that links us all. Here is our current map of affiliation with the Companions of Mary the Apostle.
Friends include anyone who comes to our door, metaphorical or real. Many people visit through our Facebook page, blogs, and newsletter, through email contact, or through an occasional visit in person. Friends come on retreats or quiet days, perhaps attend weekly communion at our houses, connect with one or more Companions, or otherwise enter the circle of the Companions.
ConSpiritors resonate with the charism of the Companions. They support the Companions through prayer; through financial contributions or shared ministry; by inviting people to consider being Vowed, Covenanted or to be ConSPIRITors; and by referring us to other venues for retreats we offer.
In turn, ConSPIRITors receive our support through daily prayers, and special concerns when needed; through invitations to Companions’ Encounters (worship gatherings, quiet days and retreats); and by joining us for private retreat time as we are able to accommodate you.
If you would like to become a ConSPIRITor, please fill out this form and send it to email@example.com.
Covenant Group Members
Some ConSPIRITors may decide to live by the Covenant, and wish to be supported in this adventure. Those who so wish are invited to join a Covenant Group which meets monthly online, and once or twice a year in person. The purpose of the Groups is to strengthen one another in living the Covenant, to deepen community in order to live out the Charism more fully in their particular lives.
Covenant Companions commit to conversion of life through the practices embodied in the Community Covenant, with additions appropriate to their particular life situation. The Covenant is organized around the love of God, love of creation, and love of others. The commitments that flow from these loves are shared by all Companions, vowed or covenanted. Covenant Companions follow a path of formation including reading, regular online meetings with the Covenant Companions community, and a monthly online meeting with a senior Companion. After at least one year of candidacy, they may become eligible to commit to the covenant annually, or for longer periods, and finally for life. Covenant Companions may be married or single, and live and work in a variety of situations. They share in the formation of future members, and in governance.
Vowed members commit to conversion of life through the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. They renounce private property, choose celibate non-exclusive relationship, and commit to listen to and trust the Holy Spirit speaking through other members and the gathered community. They are strengthened to do this by living in close community with other Companions, and by the daily routine of prayer together and alone. They live by a Rule that is based on the Covenant.
Ordinarily, vowed members will live in common with other Companions. Their formation process includes the elements of the Covenant Companions’ process (reading, group, mentoring), as well as more intensive study of the vows and, of course, the major “school of love” – living in community! The formation process includes a year of candidacy and a two year novitiate before vows. Vows are made annually until the candidate and the community agree on life commitment.
Vowed Companions make their first priority the rhythm of prayer and worship, tending the fire to enable others to perform their ministry and find their way back to renewal. They serve in any capacity that is consonant with that priority and with their gifts. Learn more about Vowed Companions.
We welcome your inquiries about any of these circles of companionship. If you want deeper connection with others seeking God, wherever you are in that journey, we would like to hear from you. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.