The Typica of
The Benedictine Abbey of St. John the Beloved
The Old Catholic Church
The world headquarters of the Benedictine Order of St.
John the Beloved shall be established in the Monastery built on land owned by
the Church, and governed by the Archbishop of the Order. Novices of the Order
shall be sought out through the usual means, and will also include outreach to
those trained in medical service, hygiene, and public health. Novices must be
at least 18 years of age and in good health. Each novice shall receive a
welcoming package prior to his arrival explaining what he is to bring with him
to the Mother House.
The Typica of the Abbey of St. John the Beloved
Above all things, follow the greatest commandment: love
God, your neighbor, and one another. For it is through this love that the Order
shall get through the hard times, and enjoy the good times and serve our Lord
to our best abilities.
- The following precepts are to be followed by those living in the House of Studies and Abbey, or in the case of Sisters, the convent.
- The main purpose for communal living is to support one another in each member’s prayer life, studies, and religious formation. House life should be harmonious, intent upon God in oneness of mind, heart, and soul.
- All property belongs to the Order, and is shared with each equally according to one’s needs. No member shall go without proper clothing, health care, or other necessity of life.
- Any money brought into the Order as a novice, shall be given to the Order for the good of the many.
- All shall take proper care of the Monastery, sharing chores such as cleaning, painting as needed, and if skilled, such other services as may be needed to improve the monastery environment.
- Training shall depend on each individual’s background as to whether or not the novice shall become a Brother, Deacon or a Friar, and how much if any theological training the novice already possesses.
- There shall be taken initial vows by all who enter the Monastery, which shall include the vow of love, faith, poverty, servitude, obedience and stability.
Clothing and daily life
- The Divine Office shall be recited daily to include Morning Prayer, Midday Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline. A dispensation may be sought from the Archbishop under unusual circumstances.
- All will attend the Sacrifice of the Mass daily as the schedule permits.
- Those who wish to use the chapel to pray outside the normal hours are encouraged to do so.
- Each member is required to choose a Spiritual Director, and to make use of same.
The Apostolate of the Order
- Street clothes shall be turned in upon arrival at the Mother house and exchanged for two black habits or Cassocks, and other clothing items of a personal nature, which shall be worn whenever one is out of their personal room. The habit shall consist of a black belt or cincture worn around the middle. Habits shall be maintained in good order and clean. More comfortable clothes may be worn within one’s room, i.e. gym shorts, tee shirts, etc. Shoes shall be black with laces, or penny loafer type shoes with black socks. Certain days shall be annotated for personal clothes to be worn anywhere in the Monastery.
- All rooms shall house two novices or upper classmen. Rooms shall contain two beds, two dressers, one closet to be shared, and two writing areas. Curtains shall be on the windows. Rooms maybe personalized within the boundaries of good taste.
- No member of the Order shall engage in any conduct that shall bring discredit upon the Order. Serious breaches of discipline and good conduct shall be grounds for dismissal from the Order.
- Permission must be obtained from a Superior prior to leaving the grounds of the Mother house, and the Habit or on occasion “blacks” shall be worn.
- Any member of the House that becomes ill, shall notify the Superior of the House immediately so that a proper course of action may be determined. If such member remains in the House, the member’s roommate shall become responsible for attending to his sick roommates needs.
- Personal hygiene must be maintained at all times, which includes daily showers.
- You should avoid quarrels altogether or else put an end to them as quickly as possible; otherwise, anger may grow into hatred, making a plank out of what once was a splinter. Any emotionally injured member must be made amends to by the offender. The offender should than seek out the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The injured member should at the command of Jesus, forgive his brother without condition.
- It shall be up to the House Superior to maintain good order, discipline and settle any incidents that do not settle themselves.
- The House Superior should be obeyed as a father with the respect due him so as not to offend God in his person, and, even more so, the priest who bears responsibility for you all, the Archbishop.
- The Lord grant that you may observe all these precepts in a spirit of charity as lovers of spiritual beauty, giving forth the good odor of Christ in the holiness of your lives; not as slaves living under the law but as men living in freedom under grace.
- When it is the judgment of those responsible for the training and religious formation that a member is ready to enter the world and commence service to God’s children, then as in the Scriptures, they shall go forth two by two. This usually shall be a Brother and a Friar if available. Never shall only one be sent into the world unless personally approved by the Archbishop.
- The Apostolate of this order shall be: the spiritual care of those confined to nursing homes, hospitals, and prisons; feeding the hungry; and helping those young people who have been thrown out of their houses by their parents, especially those who are gay or lesbian, and have turned to prostitution as a way to support themselves. Teams may also be assigned to general community among others, to assist with spiritual needs of those who have been rejected by other churches; and where possible, job skills shall be taught to the unemployed, such as computer skills. Social justice issues shall remain high on the Orders list of ministries, and shall include fighting for those things that are true to the Gospel. Care of the elderly in the necessities of life such as fuel in the winter, and medicine, shall be a ministry close to the heart of this Order.
- Each “team” shall have input into which area of the Orders Apostolate they shall go forward and work, in conjunction with the Order’s determination of where the greatest need lies. Field assignmentsshall last for two years, with breaks for the teams to return to the Mother House for retreat and recharge. Teams may request reassignment if they feel that they are not right for the assignment given to them. After two years an evaluation process shall take place to determine if a change is needed.
- Each team while in the field shall try and contribute to their daily life, but the Order shall insure that they have the sufficient necessities of life.
- Each team shall send back reports to the Order of their activities, problems, successes, and any needs that they might have at least once a week. This may be accomplished by e-mail where feasible. Each mission shall also be visited once a year by the Abbot or a designee.
- When working in the field, be sure to do no harm, but render all assistance as your means allow, in conjunction with the Orders mission.
- Whenever needed, the Sacraments shall be freely given to the people of God, as gifts from God. An accurate record of all Sacraments shall be maintained by the team with the exception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. A copy of any certification of Sacrament shall be kept in the mission/parish with the original sent back to the Mother House. The Mother House shall then be responsible for keeping a permanent record of all baptisms, confirmations, marriages, etc.
- As an alternative to field missions, the Order may elect to establish other houses
of the Order which will house those assigned to that
house, while reporting to the Mother House. Such future decisions will depend on
available funds, and vocations.
Where possible, local parishes may be opened
and operated by members of the Order with the permission of the Archbishop.