This opportunity is for men (including non-Catholics) who wish to live a disciplined monastic life, alternating time between their own residence and regularly scheduled living within the monastic community (minimally 10 weekends plus two full weeks per year). A Family Brother receives training in monastic spirituality, with a temporary commitment, moving toward a lifetime covenant.
Contact: Fr. Paul Jones
The status of Family Brother offers men (including non-Catholics) the opportunity to explore a program of formation intent on moving toward a lifetime commitment of alternation between life at Assumption Abbey and living an adapted monastic discipline in the secular world.
This process begins with a one-week visitation to the monastery that includes an interview. If there is mutual interest, the person is invited to return within three months for at least a weekend, during which time there will be interaction with the monks. If all goes well, during a third visit of at least a weekend, the candidate will begin developing a tailor-made "rule" in consultation with the contact person. This rule will include ten weekends of annual participation at the Abbey, plus an additional two scheduled weeks.
When this plan is ready for implementation, the person will commit himself to living it for a six-month trial period. Specific aspects of formation will begin during this time, including formal classes, spiritual reading, and spiritual direction. While at the monastery, the person will live fully the monastic life expected of all Trappist monks.
After a successful six-month trial, by mutual agreement the person may commit to a second six-month period. After that, he may request or be invited to make a temporary commitment to live his "rule" as a Family Brother for a minimum of one year, up to a maximum of three years, during which time an appropriate monastic garb will reflect his Family Brother status. (If at the end of three years the person is not ready or able to enter into a lifetime covenant, he cannot remain a Family Brother, but may be encouraged to consider the status of External Oblate.) As his temporary commitment comes to an end, a mutual discernment may lead to a formal lifetime covenant as a Family Brother of Assumption Abbey.
To learn more about the Family Brothers Program, click here.