Welcome to the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Who We Are

Our Daily Life

We gather throughout the day to pray the Daily Office—Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline. On most days we join in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Our common prayer and worship sanctify the work of the day, interrupting it so that we can direct and offer it all to God in thanksgiving. To read more about the Daily Office, click here or to listen audio clips, click here.

Every morning we also spend an hour alone before God, usually in our cells, where we come to know the rewards of “the Father who sees in secret.” In our prayer we bring to God the needs of the world, as well as our work and our joys, our gratitude and our sin, our sufferings and our dreams, our poverty and our desires, our passion and our sexuality, our fears and our resistance, our gifts and our grief. Our prayer includes all and we welcome all.

 

Our Ministries

We aim above all to be “Men of the Moment,” responsive to the call of God and the needs of our world in the present day. At our home and in our ministries, we aim to share with others gifts from the Spirit:

Silence and Sanctuary

We offer our monasteries as places of silence, sanctuary, and simple beauty, renewing them to meet changing needs. At home and wherever we minister, we accept and welcome all who come, including them in our worship, meals, and fellowship.

Guidance in Prayer and Spirituality

We offer guidance through preaching, teaching, retreats, workshops, and spiritual direction. In our guest houses in Cambridge and West Newbury we extend our hospitality to guests, who may come for an individual retreat or may attend group retreats on topics related to prayer and spirituality. We are especially available to students and others at critical stages of life formation, and to those whose vocation is the formation of others.

A Vision for Wholeness

We serve a wide spectrum of people, from the disempowered and marginalized to the influential and privileged. For several years, we have been affiliated with St. George’s College in Jerusalem, serving as chaplains on a number of pilgrimages to the Holy Land each year. Recently, we also have conducted mission trips to Africa. Individual brothers work in a variety of local and regional ministries—with students, with prisoners, and with persons affected by HIV/AIDS. We aim to be ministers of reconciliation, hope, and transformation. Our work helps people uncover their deepest desires, live with authenticity, and discover their place in the heart of God.

 

Our History

The Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE) was founded in the parish of Cowley in Oxford, England, by the Reverend Richard Meux Benson in 1866. SSJE was the first stable religious community of men to be established in the Anglican Church since the Reformation. Our order came to Boston in 1870. For many years SSJE also had houses in Scotland, India, South Africa, Japan and Canada.

Now, the Brothers of the North American Congregation live at the Monastery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near Harvard Square, and also keep a rural retreat center, Emery House, in West Newbury, Massachusetts. The Brothers live under a Rule of Life and, at profession, make vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience.

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