Associates are lay men and women, Catholic and non-Catholic, drawn to contemplative life values while living and working "in the world." They relate to the monastery and to one another through local Associate Groups, involving monthly meetings, a newsletter, and group retreat time at the monastery. "Covenant Associates" commit to living "monastically" in their daily lives for a period of time. The liaison with the Abbey is Fr. Paul Jones.
Contact: Mary Runde
We are lay men and women, Catholic and non-Catholic, who feel called to a life of contemplation while living and working in the world. We have found in the Rule of Saint Benedict a Gospel way of living which we can implement in our daily routines. In coming to Assumption Abbey, we are seeking to be inspired, guided, and instructed in the Cistercian Charism by men steeped in this Rule.
In our relationship with this small community of monks, we experience a sense of family and discover a place of silence and solitude where we are energized to become better persons, more mindful of Christ as the center of our lives. While at the abbey, we participate with the community in the celebration of Mass and some of the Hours of the Divine Office. We spend time in meditative reading of the Scriptures (Lectio Divina), and in reading works of various Cistercian authors. The spacious grounds offer opportunities to encounter God in the beauty of forest and stream. Group and private spiritual direction are available.
The prayer life of an associate fosters greater knowledge of self, which leads to deeper humility and obedience to God's will. This also calls for a transformation of mind and heart, accompanied by a desire to live more simply and quietly amidst a society obsessed with the accumulation of consumer goods and the distractions of noisy diversions. The extent of our participation in liturgy, meditative prayer, and ascetical practices, when away from the abbey, is circumscribed by our various situations in life. Our groups meet monthly for mutual support and love, and for interactive discussion of the Cistercian values we are trying to incorporate into our lives. We are committed to each other and to the Monastic community in the "school of the Lord's service where Christ is formed in our hearts." (RB: Prologue 45) "Covenant Associate" is a designation for those Associates who additionally commit to being held accountable in following a tailor-made rule of life.
Common patterns Associates share with the Cistercian community:
Life centered in Christ
Participation in Mass and the Divine Office
Simplified life inspired by the Rule of St. Benedict
Dialogue with members of the community
Formation in Cistercian spirituality
Emphasis on silence, simplicity, and prayer
Fraternal communion with one another
Attitude of reverence and gratitude regarding work as service
Devotion to Mary, our Mother