Sisterhood invites women to join them on an ancient path’

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Companions on the Way program participants (L-R) Sarah Moesker, Hanné Becker, Christine Stoll, Amanda Avery, and Alisa Samuel during their commissioning by Bishop Linda Nicholls last year at the convent of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine in Toronto. Photo: Matt Gardner
Companions on the Way program participants (L-R) Sarah Moesker, Hanné Becker, Christine Stoll, Amanda Avery, and Alisa Samuel during their commissioning by Bishop Linda Nicholls last year at the convent of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine in Toronto. Photo: Matt Gardner

For the second year in a row, the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine (SSJD) is opening its doors to young women who want to spend a year “living in God’s rhythm.”

The SSJD’s Companions on an Ancient Path program, invites women 21-39 to spend a year living with the sisters at their north Toronto convent and “explore an expression of new monasticism rooted in the Anglican tradition.” Applications for the 2017-2018 program are being accepted until June 15, 2017.

The program is designed to give young women an encounter with new monasticism—an international movement that seeks to adapt monastic practices of prayer and common living for modern life—within the context of the more traditional monasticism practised by the SSJD, an order of Anglican nuns founded in Toronto in 1884.

Unlike those who enter the convent through the sisters’ Alongsider program, which allows women of any age to live with the sisters for a period of time, companions enter the convent as a group once a year.

As participants in the threefold life of work, prayer and study, they are encouraged to “develop a rhythm of life including public and private prayer, engage in service to others, and learn to live in intentional community.”

They are also given time and space to deepen their relationship with God, learn about the “countercultural values” of monastic life, grow spiritually, discern their own gifts and consider the possibility of a monastic vocation.

First announced in 2015 as “Companions on the Way,” the program’s first group of companions entered the monastery in 2016.

Those interested in joining the program can contact Canon Sr. Constance Joanna Gefvert by email at companions@ssjd.ca or by phone at 416-226-2201, ext. 316.

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André Forget
André Forget was a staff writer for the Anglican Journal from 2014 to 2017.

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