Welcome to the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

News

SSJE Announces re-election of Br. James Koester as Superior

The Society of Saint John the Evangelist has announced that Br. James Koester SSJE has been elected to serve a second term as Superior. 

I am honored and delighted to have this trust bestowed upon me by my brothers”, Br. James said. “It is a daunting, but exciting challenge.

The Regina, Saskatchewan native was ordained in the Anglican Church of Canada in 1984. He served in parish ministry for five years prior to making his way to SSJE, where he was life professed in 1995. He had filled a variety of roles within the community prior to his election as Superior in 2016.

During Br. James’ first term, SSJE has continued its innovative online ministry which includes the daily meditation, “Brother Give Us A Word” and partnered with the Virginia Theological Seminary to produce several specially-focused six week study series. 

Simultaneously, Br. James has made the Next Generation of SSJE his primary focus. “Half of my brothers are over the age of 60, while the other half are age 50 and under. It is essential for our future that we properly nurture our younger brothers so that they may confidently and capably assume the leadership roles into which they are now moving. With this broad spectrum of ages, it is also important that our life together in community is nurtured. Just as we rebuilt the physical infrastructure of the monastery ten years ago, we must now ensure our human infrastructure is stable and secure. It is for that reason that for the next three years we will be working on our community’s foundations and our vision for the future”

Under his leadership, SSJE has launched “Catch the Life”, a website designed to introduce those considering a monastic vocation to SSJE’s history and present. Through text, videos, and direct conversation with SSJE brothers, the site serves as guide for Inquirers while also providing a forum for a personal rapport to develop.

In 2019, SSJE celebrated the life profession of Br. Nicholas Bartoli, SSJE. Two more professions and a clothing are scheduled in the coming months. Addressing members of the Fellowship of Saint John who had gathered to celebrate Saint John’s Day in May, Br. James stated, “We believe that it is now time for a new generation of monks to claim and articulate a new and renewed vision of monastic ministry, one that will sustain us for the years to come while attracting new vocations and being of service to the church.

Planning Ahead

Boston Calling Weekend

The Chapel will be closed from after the Mid-day Office on Friday, 24 May until the 9:00 AM Eucharist on Sunday, 26 May. Following the Sunday Eucharist, we will close the chapel again until Morning Prayer on Tuesday, 28 May.

Guest Preacher

Our Bishop Visitor and the former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, The Most Reverend Frank Griswold will be our Guest Preacher and Presider on Tuesday, 14 May at the 5:30 PM Eucharist. Please join us in welcoming Bishop Griswold to the Monastery that evening.

Intern Reunion

This past weekend we had the pleasure of hosting nearly of our Interns and Residents, dating back six years. The group joined us for our St. John’s Day celebration at the monastery in Cambridge on Saturday, May 4, and also spent an overnight at Emery House in West Newbury.  The group, pictured with Brs. Keith Nelson and Luke Ditewig, shared many stories and lots of joy.

CAROA / NAECC

Br. Luke Ditewig joined representatives of other religious orders and Christian communities in Racine, WI for the annual meeting of CAROA (Conference of Anglican Religious Orders in America) / NAECC (National Association of Episcopal Christian Communities).

Monastic Wisdom: Humility

Check out the latest “Monastic Wisdom Monthly” to explore the topic of humility through Br. David’s reflection, suggested practices, reflection questions, and further resources. 

Humility has gotten bad press in the modern era. Too often, it has been associated with passivity, weakness, complacency, low self-esteem, or an unquestioning submission to authority. But true humility, as Jesus taught and modeled it, maintains a healthy balance between a proper self-esteem and an honest awareness and acceptance of our limitations, weaknesses, and faults. Br. David Vryhof explores this virtue that is at the heart of the monastic tradition, one which can help us to see the truth about ourselves and everyone else.


Read online here >
Click here to read and download a print-friendly version of this offering >


You’re Invited: FSJ Day

We warmly invite you to join us for a festive Eucharist for Saint John’s Day:

Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.
Presider: Br. James Koester, SSJE
Preacher: The Rev. Kenneth Poppe
A festive luncheon will be served in the Cloister Garden.

“Take Stock of the Journey”

We are honored to learn that Br. Geoffrey Tristram’s recent Monastic Wisdom reflection on pilgrimage was useful to Archbishop Fred Hiltz in framing his final address to the Council of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada earlier this month.

The Anglican Journal reports:

In his final address to Council of General Synod (CoGS) as primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz told the council to “take stock of the journey so far.” The primate’s talk covered topics including Indigenous self-determination, the proposed amendment to the marriage canon, discipleship and relationships with the wider Anglican Communion. He also acknowledged the concern caused by declines in church attendance and affirmed efforts to encourage a spirit of revival among Anglicans.

Hiltz framed his March 14 report to CoGS by reading from a reflection on pilgrimage, written by Br. Geoffrey Tristram, former superior of the order of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist. Quoting Tristram, Hiltz read: “One thing that can be very helpful as we press along this journey is to periodically stop and make a sort of map of the road we’ve travelled and the road ahead. Ultimately, we know that our destination is God, yet like any traveler pressing on along an unknown road, we may need to check in and reorient ourselves from time to time, to be sure that we haven’t taken off on the wrong path.”

Have you read Br. Geoffrey’s reflection yet? We hope its insights might be useful to you as you continue along your Lenten pilgrimage.

“For Our Sake”: Holy Week at the Monastery

Our Holy Week schedule is now available. We invite you to join us as often as you can.

The Sunday of the Passion:
Palm Sunday – April 14

6:30 am – Morning Prayer
9:00 am – Blessing of Palms & Holy Eucharist
12:30 pm – Noonday Prayer
4:00 pm – Evening Prayer

Monday in Holy Week – April 15

The chapel is closed.

Tuesday in Holy Week – April 16

6:00 am – Morning Prayer
12:30 pm – Noonday Prayer
5:30 pm – Holy Eucharist

Wednesday in Holy Week – April 17

6:00 am – Morning Prayer
12:30 pm – Holy Eucharist
7:30 pm – Tenebrae

Maundy Thursday– April 18

6:00 am – Morning Prayer
12:30 pm – Noonday Prayer
7:30 pm – Holy Eucharist with Foot-washing
9:00 pm-7:00 am – Watch before the Reserved Sacrament

Good Friday – April 19

7:30 am – Morning Prayer
3:00-4:30 pm – Reconciliation of Penitents
(Individual confessions heard in the chapel)
7:30 pm – Liturgy of the Passion and Holy Communion

Holy Saturday – April 20

7:30 am – Morning Prayer
12:30 pm – Liturgy of the Word
6:00 pm – Evening Prayer

Sunday of the Resurrection:
Easter Day – April 21

4:30 am – The Great Vigil of Easter
10:00 am – Holy Eucharist
1:00 pm – Noonday Prayer
5:00 pm – Evening Prayer