Cohousing Exploration

Hospitality is a foundational value for Benedictines. In his Rule, or guidebook, for monks, St. Benedict is very clear on how hospitality is to be shown to the various people who come to the monastery.

Benedict knew that there was something about the monastic way of life, a simple life centered on God that would attract all kinds, not just vowed religious. He knew that part of the calling of the monastic life is to be open to the myriad ways God calls people to experience monastic life.

As St. Gertrude’s moves forward we are extending hospitality through new channels. We are exploring “New Ways to be Benedictine.” Although Benedictine communities do not see as many people choosing traditional, monastic
profession as in the past, there is rising interest in Benedictine spirituality and way of life. We are actively exploring creative ways for people to partner with us in meeting this need of this time in history. One such project is cohousing.

Cohousing is a movement of people who want to form intentional community at a common housing site. They then covenant to support one another and form community. 

We are in the visioning phase of establishing a cohousing community at St. Gertrude’s. Our vision is to invite several single women who would commit to creating a community based on living Benedictine values and practices.

  • These women would live in the main building in rooms that would be renovated to provide for more space and private bathrooms for each person.
  • The group would work together to decide how they are going to be a community and live Benedictine life in this new way.
  • They would be asked to make a monthly financial contribution to the Monastery in exchange for their room and board.
  • The community members would participate in prayer, meals, and common activities along with the sisters.
  • They would be completely financially independent and would be responsible for their own insurance, etc., and would be free to leave the community at any point.
  • These women would not make monastic profession but would live according to the principles of Benedictine spirituality.

We are not yet at a firm decision for offering cohousing but are seeking those interested in exploring the idea with us. If you are interested, consider coming to one of our “New Ways to be Benedictine” weeks. These are week-long programs that allow you to visit the Monastery, meet other interested people, and learn more about our programs and Benedictine life.  The initial dates are:  Feb. 25-March 4, 2018, April 15-22, 2018, May 20-27, 2018, at the Monastery of St. Gertrude in Cottonwood, Idaho. 

Respond by filling out the form below. We look forward to visioning together!


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