Perhaps you or someone you know is interested in discerning a vocation to monastic life? Entrance into the Order is a gradual process that begins by contacting Br. Aidan, the Monastery’s vocations minster. He will help you begin a process of discernment to explore your vocation.
During this time of discernment we encourage you to visit the Monastery, so that you can begin to observe our life and develop relationships with the brethren stationed there.
When you and the vocations minister mutually agree that you are ready to move forward in your vocational journey, you would schedule a two-week aspirant visit to the Monastery. During those two weeks you would live in the monastic enclosure and participate in the life and work of the community. Following that visit, if both you and the community think you should move forward, you would be invited to make a formal application for admission to our novitiate.
Upon admission to the novitiate as a postulant (your first six months) you are introduced to the Order’s life and ministry. The purpose of the postulancy is for the candidate to demonstrate through his life and work in the community that he has a vocation to the monastic life as it is lived in OHC.
At the end of the first six months, if the postulant chooses to continue and the community consents, he is admitted as a novice and receives the monastic habit. It is during these two years that the basic foundation of the monastic life is laid.
After completing the novitiate, the novice with the consent of the community, makes his annual profession of the three-fold Benedictine vow of obedience, stability, and conversion of his ways to the monastic way of life. The junior professed brother renews his vow each year until he feels ready to make a life commitment.
Perhaps God is inviting you – or someone you know – to explore more deeply the possibility of a monastic vocation. If so, write to one of our vocations ministers for more information.
If you feel ready to do so, you may want to attach your filled-in Introductory Questionnaire to your message to the vocations minister.
A Brief History of the Order
The Order of the Holy Cross is an Anglican (Episcopal) monastic community within the Benedictine tradition and was founded in 1881 in New York City’s Lower East Side by the Rev. James Otis Sargent Huntington. Fr. Huntington was an extraordinary Christian for his time and possessed heroic courage and uncommon foresight. He was an active reformer with a deep sense of social responsibility. His understanding that social justice and advocacy can only be sustained by the primacy of prayer and contemplation is the legacy he left to the Order. For over 120 years, that legacy has sustained the Order’s various ministries.
In 1984, the Order acknowledged that Fr. Huntington’s vision as the Order had lived it for 100 years was essentially Benedictine. We, therefore, adopted the Rule of St. Benedict.
The Order lives out the monastic life in a variety of settings and styles, always attempting to adapt this ancient way to contemporary conditions. In particular, the community strives to live a balanced life that integrates prayer (both liturgical and personal), work, study, and rest. This balance, in turn, supports each monk in living creatively the tensions and contradictions of life.
The Vocations Minister at Holy Cross Monastery, West Park
Br. Aidan Owen, OHC
(845) 384-6660 x3012
Holy Cross Monastery
P.O. Box 99
West Park, New York 12493
When writing to the vocations minister, please consider including your filled-in Introductory Questionnaire.
We have compiled a list of suggested reading about the monastic life, monastic spirituality, and the Order of the Holy Cross. Read more…