Community is key to the Benedictine way of life. Many people who desire intentional, Benedictine life may not feel a call to vowed life.The Monastery of St. Gertrude is inaugurating something new:
Benedictine Cohousing Companions
A community of single women committed to forming a new kind of Benedictine community: – living with the sisters in the monastery
– making a monthly financial contribution to the monastery – joining the sisters in meals, prayer, and public activities
– creating community based on Benedictine principles
Expected opening of the Benedictine Cohousing Companions: Summer 2021
BENEDICTINE CO-HOUSING COMPANIONS AT ST. GERTRUDE’S: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1) WHAT IS CO-HOUSING?
Co-housing is broad movement characterized by groups of people who commit to live together in close proximity in order to form intentional community. The key is the commitment to become a community of mutual support. Each community has clear guidelines about what this commitment involves. Co-housing requires substantial time, effort and common understanding. It is not for people who are just looking for a place to live.
2) CAN ANYONE APPLY TO BE A CO-HOUSING RESIDENT?
The St. Gertrude’s co-housing “Companions” will be open to single women (not married or in a committed relationship) without dependents, pets or emotional support animals. The screening process will be extensive and potential residents will need to be very actively engaged with other potential residents to begin to create community and shape what this new form of Benedictine living will look like.
3) WHAT MAKES ST. GERTRUDE’S COMPANIONS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER CO-HOUSING?
The key is that St. Gertrude’s is building a Benedictine co-housing community. The core of this community will be the commitment to live according to Benedictine spirituality and values within the Christian tradition. While members do not become sisters they do agree to live a life grounded in the Rule of St. Benedict. This is an essential component of the program.
4) WHAT IF I LIKE THE IDEA OF LIVING IN THE MONASTERY BUT I’M NOT INTERESTED IN COMMUNITY?
If you are primarily interested in living with the sisters, attending daily Mass and prayer but not making a commitment to building a new kind of Benedictine community then cohousing Companions would not be a good fit.
5) IS ST. GERTRUDE’S ALREADY DOING THIS?
Right now members of the extended St. Gertrude’s community are working to create the possibility of a co- housing community. Our hope is to be ready to have residents move in by the summer of 2021.
6) WHERE WILL THE CO-HOUSING BE?
The “Companions” will live on the 5th floor of the Monastery building. We are engaged in a re-modeling project to provide for more space and private bathrooms.
7) WILL CO-HOUSING RESIDENTS INTERACT WITH THE SISTERS?
Yes, the co-housing residents will eat meals with the sisters, participate in daily Mass, common prayer and all public activities.
8) WILL RESIDENTS PAY RENT?
Co-housing residents will make a monthly financial contribution to St. Gertrude’s commensurate with the value of having their own room, private bath, all meals, utilities and amenities. The monthly amount has been tentatively set at $1,000.
9) I’M STILL INTERESTED. WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
Please contact Sr. Teresa Jackson using the form below.