Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Community of the Companions of St. Luke?
The Companions of St. Luke is a Christian Community of The Episcopal Church under Title III Canon 14 and is a society of Christians (in communion with the See of Canterbury) who voluntarily commit themselves for life in obedience to the Rule of St. Benedict and its Constitution.
The Companions of St. Luke exists to express Religious life under the Rule of St. Benedict and to witness, through traditional and contemporary expressions, the values of Religious life within The Episcopal Church in the United States of America.
Vowed members are Baptized and in good standing of the Episcopal Church or churches that are in communion with the See of Canterbury. Oblate members are Baptized members any Christian church.
How is religious life expressed by the members of Companions of St. Luke?
We are a contemplative Benedictine community. Religious life is a particular form of Christian living, which is characterized by a degree of separation from worldly concerns, common celebration of the Divine Office, a measure of silence, individual prayer and private reading of Sacred Scripture.
Do the Companions of St. Luke have an abbey or religious house?
No. The members are spiritually cloistered, with each member carrying the monastery in his/her heart.
I feel I have a call to a religious life. How do I explore this feeling?
If you have a spouse or partner, begin by talking about it with him/her. Talk to your parish priest. It is strongly suggested that you find and work with a spiritual advisor from your church community to further explore your call. Use the Contact Us page on this website and the Dean of Formation will contact you and you will be able to discuss your call with him/her. Finally, read a book on Benedictine spirituality. Authors such as Joan Chittister or Esther de Waal have written many books on this subject and are good guides that will enhance your exploration. These are available from such sources as Amazon.
Do I need to fully confirm my call before applying for membership to the Companions of St. Luke?
No. The application process and your formation (training) program are designed to help you discern your call.
How do I apply for membership in the Companions of St. Luke?
Use the Contact Us page on this website. The Administrative Dean will contact you. After a telephone conversation or e-mail exchanges, he/she will send you an application.
We send out applications for Vowed Life and Oblation between September 1 and February 1 each year, and completed applications are to be returned by March 1.
When are candidates welcomed into the CSL community as Postulants for Vowed Life or as a Novice Oblate?
Candidates for either Vowed life or Oblation are welcomed at our Spring Convocation each May.
Do the Companions of St. Luke welcome international Christians?
Yes. There are certain practical issues that an international inquirer needs to be aware of as part of their discernment. These are explained in the Membership section of this website.
When the community comes together in convocation twice a year, how long is it and where do you meet? How do members travel to the site?
Our convocations are held at the Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery Conception Abbey in Conception, MO. It is located about 90 minutes north of Kansas City, MO. Most fly to Kansas City and we offer transportation to and from the airport and Conception Abbey. Convocation runs for a week, beginning on Monday afternoon and ending Saturday morning.
How do members stay in touch with each other between convocations?
Many of our members stay in touch with each other using e-mail and texting. Also, many members share pictures and informal thoughts on our Facebook account. The community – wide Yahoo listserve account that is used to share ideas, for prayer requests, and thankgivings is our main vehicle to stay connected. Finally, we have just started a quarterly newsletter that is distributed to members by e-mail.
How does a married person balance two vowed professions?
Benedictine Vows (Stability, Obedience, and Conversion of Life) do not ‘trump’ the marriage vows. In fact, the Benedictine vows can strengthen the marriage vows. For Benedictines, Stability calls us into stable relationships with Christ and with all persons, especially with our partners or spouses. Obedience calls us to listen and respond in love, and Conversion of Life calls us to move away from the diversions and temptations of the culture and the world.
What do the Companions of St. Luke require of the partner or spouse?
We require no commitment from the partner or spouse. However, we strongly encourage the spouse or partner to support the member as (s)he walks the narrow path to Christ. This requires regular and meaningful communications between family members to be successful.
Is age a concern?
There are no age limits other than a minimum age of 21 for membership.