Benedictine Cohousing Community
Community is key to the Benedictine way of life.
Do you feel a call to Benedictine, monastic life?
Is a traditional vocation not a fit for you?
Would you like to be a pioneer in creating a new way of living according to the Rule of St. Benedict?
People have been living monastic life according to the Rule of St. Benedict for over 1500 years. In the past most of those people took formal vows as monks or nuns. But today, many people are looking for new ways to live Benedictine life. In our rapidly changing, unsettled times, Benedictine spirituality offers a time-tested, structured way of life seeking God above all.
The Center for Benedictine Life at the Monastery of St. Gertrude, in Cottonwood, Idaho, is pioneering a new way for women of all Christian denominations to live Benedictine, monastic life outside the traditional requirements of Roman Catholic religious life. The emerging community of the Benedictine Cohousing Community (BCC) offers women the chance to create a new form of monastic community in the midst of an existing women’s monastery.
The Benedictine Cohousing Community will be a group of single women who will commit to creating a new way to live Benedictine spirituality. They will not make vows or a life commitment, but will covenant to explore how to live according to the Rule of St. Benedict, adapted for new circumstances in the 21st century.
This new venture will require women who are adventurous, courageous, able to live in community and who desire to live a Benedictine life. Does that sound like you? Please spend some time reflecting on our “frequently asked questions” and ask for more information:
What is the Benedictine Cohousing Community (BCC)?
The Benedictine Cohousing Community is a new way to live Benedictine spirituality and values according to the ancient Rule of St. Benedict. It is an ecumenical community of women committed to mutual support and accountability. Cohousing requires substantial time, effort, and common understanding. It is not for people who are just looking for a place to live.
Can anyone apply to be a BCC resident?
The Benedictine Cohousing Community will be open to single women (not married or in a committed relationship) without dependents, pets, or emotional support animals. The screening and application process will be extensive. The process will last at least a year and require active participation in a group of fellow discerners to create community and shape what this new form of Benedictine living will look like. Multiple visits to the monastery will be required prior to application.
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 the Benedictine Cohousing Community would not be a good fit.
Where will the cohousing be?
The Benedictine Cohousing Community will live on the fifth floor of the monastery building. One floor has been designated for cohousing and has been extensively remodeled to provide for private bathrooms, additional living space, and amenities.
Will the Benedictine Cohousing Community interact with the Sisters?
Benedictine Cohousing Community will eat meals with the Sisters, participate in daily Mass, common prayer, and all public activities.
Will the Benedictine Cohousing Community pay rent?
The Benedictine Cohousing Community members will make a monthly financial contribution to the Center for Benedictine Life at the Monastery of St. Gertrude 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.
I'm still interested. What do I do next?
If you are not already familiar with Benedictine spirituality and values spend some substantial time reading about the Rule of St. Benedict and Benedictine life. Spend time with the Center for Benedictine Life at the Monastery of St. Gertrude website to get a sense of our community. Reflect deeply on your motivation for exploring this path and what would be required to undertake this path. Contact Sr. Teresa Jackson, firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and for further discernment.