Anglican Catholic Church

The Congregation of the Good Samaritan

A religious Order within the Anglican Catholic Church

About the Congregation of the Good Samaritan

After six years of hard work, the Congregation of the Good Samaritan was officially established as an Order within the Anglican Catholic Church by decree of D. Pressley Hutchens, Bishop Ordinary, Diocese of New Orleans on Trinity Sunday in the Year of Our Lord 2009.

The Congregation is under the direction of The Right Reverend John Benedict Mcdonald, CGS, Governor General and Sister Anne, CGS, Governess. In January, 2010, Brother John of the Cross, FODC, a Franciscan Brother from Denver, officially joined the Community and, with our growing group of Oblates, we have quickly become well established in the Church.

History

Religious Orders have been around in the ACC since the beginning?1978--but because of our size and the distance between churches and between dioceses, small local groups have sprung up here and there, and often have then died out, leaving one or two faithful members trying to keep their Rule and live a community life in a community of just one or two?or leaving an Oblate or a couple of Third Order Members stranded without the support of Professed Religious.

The Good Samaritan Umbrella

The Congregation of the Good Samaritan is attempting to address the problem by opening their community to any member(s) of a Religious Order in the ACC, and the Continuing Churches in Communion with the ACC, who have no religious house or community of their own to call home. The members of the Congregation will be following a 21st Century Rule, adapted from the Rules of St. Benedict, St. Augustine and St. Francis. We are not creating anything new?just making the 5th, 6th and 14th Century rules apply to today. Our Novices will be schooled in the Rule of the Congregation with historical references to these original Rules and lifestyles. However, if a member of an already existing Order joins us, that member will be welcome to become a part of the Congregation and continue to follow their previously adopted Rule, adapting to our horarium, taking part in the Daily Offices, attending Mass, and sharing in our ministry to those who are in ?trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity.? (BCP pg 74) Where their Rule is not compatible, adaptations will have to be made, and they will be allowed the freedom of living by their originally adopted Rule.

One of the big differences between the Orders and their Rules is the Spirituality of the different Orders, and, we admit, this will be a challenge. However, we will do our best to understand the differences, to make allowances for them, and to direct those following the other Rules to the best of our ability, to understand and emulate the Spirituality they have chosen to follow.

Our hope is that the umbrella of the Congregation will serve as a starting point for many different Orders in the ACC, and as each one grows in strength and numbers, that they will be able to form their own house built on solid ground, where they can follow their own Rule and Apostolate, and continue to grow and to support the diverse and individual Spiritualities of the membership of the ACC.

Religious Life

We have all heard how Religious Orders are dwindling in size and in number throughout the world and in the major denominations. The traditional Orders?those that have held to the old forms of dress and life?are not dwindling?in fact they are growing. Young people are looking for a way to serve God and His people in this world?they are looking for a committed life, a life full of love, and hard work, and time for the important things in life, and most especially, time to get to know our Lord.

The Religious Life doesn?t come with any guarantees, but we think we can assure you, you will find a way of giving yourself up to service of those who need you most. Religious life is busy, peaceful, quiet, fulfilling and tough. You will fall into bed exhausted at night, sleep well and wake to a new day, ready to take on all that God asks you to do.

So, How About You?

Would you like more information? We would be most happy to talk to anyone who is interested in what we are doing. There is room for everyone who has an interest in Religious Life, whether you are just curious, just starting out, or are a long time

member of one of the Religious Orders in the ACC. Br. Juniper CGS would be more than happy to talk to

you by phone, converse by e-mail or even snailmail, or just sit down and have a chat sometime.

Seek us out.

Talk to us.

Pray.

Test the waters.

Pray.

Listen.

Pray.

Wait.

Pray.

Talk to us again and then give it a try!

You may find yourself right at the very time, in the

very spot that God wants you to be.

What is a monk/nun?

The Rule of St. Benedict is a masterpiece of Christian wisdom that has guided the lives of thousands of Christians for nearly 1500 years. St. Benedict called upon Christians to ?prefer nothing to Christ.? He challenged Christians, whether within the monastic life or living in the secular world, to grow continually in the love of Christ in every situation and in every encounter with other persons.

This Rule presents to us nothing that was not asked of us by Christ, but takes Scripture?s outline of the life of a Christian, and defines how such a life can be lived. Over the centuries, other religious groups have been formed, with ministries and spiritualities somewhat different from those that Benedict defined for his monasteries. But many of these new orders have taken the basic ideas and outline of Christian living, described in the Benedictine Rule, and applied it to their times, their goals, and their spiritual experiences.

The Congregation of the Good Samaritan (CGS) has established and follows a Rule, based on the Rule of St. Benedict, but modified to apply to an order established to minister to those members of society who are ?in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness or any other adversity ( BCP, Prayer for the Whole State of Christ?s Church),? serving Christ and His Church in the 21st Century.

We have adopted the Benedictine concept of Monks and Nuns, a group of men and women, called to live their lives in the seclusion of the monastery, while accepting the challenge of being active in the community. They are called to serve God in the way of Christ; to devote their lives to growing in their spiritual relationship with God and serving His people in need, using the gifts and talents that have been given to them by The Father.

Members of the Congregation work and pray and function in the world, while living in the monastery, under the direction of the Governor General and the Governess of the Congregation.

O.K. So What Is Monk/Nun?

Why do some Anglicans wish

to become CGS Monks/Nuns?

Men and women are attracted to the Religious Life because they are seeking God in Jesus Christ and believe they will be able to find Him through the Christian values manifested by the members of CGS and its Oblates. Such people recognize that the values of CGS and, ultimately, of the Gospel, have great significance in their own daily lives and in their own search for God in the midst of their lives of work and prayer. They are very aware of their own weaknesses and yet they know that God is calling them through His love to holiness. Both the Monk/Nun and God recognize that it will be an ongoing struggle to overcome their defects, but they realize that the struggle will be easier if they can find prayerful nurture and guidance within the Congregation.

In our day, the rejection of the way of fidelity, faith, and obedience threatens our society with ruin. The promises that bind us as Christians are being loosened every day. In family life, in public life, and even in the churches, these vows are being replaced by a code of unrestraint and license. We pray that this Rule of Life, with those who vow to follow it and be led by it, may come to the rescue of society. Through the witness of the Consecrated Life, we pray that the families of these men and women, and the other folks with whom they come in contact, will seek to return themselves to the Christian principles of fidelity, faith and obedience. When this happens, then we may rightly hope and pray that society and government will follow.

The only distinction between Monks and Nuns is that some Monks are ordained while others are not. Ordained Monks do not enjoy an elevated status above other Monks. Thus it is permissible and even encouraged, where possible, for the Monks and Nuns to share community life.

The Meaning of Religious Life

?Religious Life? begins as a Christian affiliation with the Congregation of the Good Samaritan for the purpose of reshaping and enriching one?s spiritual life by the Gospel of Christ as interpreted by the Rule of the Congregation. They live in the religious house, they take the religious vows of profession, forming their lives within the Evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience, striving to become holy in their chosen way of life. It is through this commitment that they bring the light of the Gospel into the world and encourage others to Our Lord?s call of love. They can provide a powerful witness to the world of the real possibility of an intense Christian life in the midst of a largely non-Christian society. Along with the prayers and support of the community members of the Congregation, the daily reading of Scripture and the example of the Rule, Monks and Nuns, ordinary fallible people living among other ordinary, fallible people, are encouraged to live a life of extraordinary holiness. As they learn to live a life full of mutual respect, patience with others and obedience to God and others out of love of Christ, these ordinary people make room in their hearts from which the grace of God can flow.

Commitments of the Consecrated Life

Religious Men and Women make a total commitment to God through the vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience.

By the vow of Poverty, the Monks and Nuns give over their concerns for food, clothing and housing to the care of God. They own nothing of their own but have use of those things they need under the direction of the Congregation. If they work at a paid job, their income is turned over to the house for use by the whole community. They are freed of these worldly concerns to concentrate on prayer and the work of their apostolate.

By the vow of Chastity, the Monks and Nuns surrender their bodies to Christ, keeping themselves chaste. This frees the Monk or Nun to love all of God?s children equally.

By the vow of Obedience, the Monk and Nun is subject to the Rule and directions of all lawful superiors, freeing them from having to manage the worries of secular life.

Who Might Become a Monk or Nun?

The Congregation of the Good Samaritan welcomes all Anglican women and men who are truly seeking God and have discerned a desire for affiliation with a Religious Order within the Anglican Catholic Church. Applicants should contact Father John Benedict, Governor General, or Sister Anne, Governess. As soon as the required paperwork is complete, the applicant will be ready to be received Postulant. This postulancy, a period of several months to one year or more, gives time to become acquainted with the spirit of the Rule and members of the Congregation and let their values have a transforming effect on his Christian life. At the end of this period, if the Postulant discerns an ongoing call to continue their spiritual path within the Congregation, he or she may apply for Novitiate. It is the Investiture as a Novice that formally makes one a member of the Congregation. The Novice then continues to share in the prayers and the works of the monastic community, to grow in communion with other Religious, and live the Evangelical Counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience with an ever more persistent turning to Christ in the daily living of one?s life. This growth in Christ, achieved by God?s grace, comes about as all the members of the Congregation offer mutual encouragement to one another to seek God by forming our lives according to the Gospel of Christ, embracing the values found in the Rule of the Congregation and as witnessed by the Community.

What is an oblate?

The Congregation of the Good Samaritan (CGS) has established and follows a Rule, based on the Rule of St. Benedict, St. Augustine, and St. Francis, yet modified to apply to an order established to minister to those members of society who are ?in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness or any other adversity ( BCP pg 74, Prayer for the Whole State of Christ?s Church),? serving Christ and and the Anglican Catholic Church in the 21st Century.

We have adopted the Benedictine concept of Oblates, a group of men and women, not called to live their lives in the seclusion of the monastery, but who do feel called to serve God in the way of Christ; to devote their lives to growing in their spiritual relationship with God and serving His people in need, using the gifts and talents that have been given to them by The Father.

Oblates, members of the Congregation who live and pray and function in the world, rather than in the monastery, should be able to profit from the wisdom of the Governor General and the Governess of the Congregation, and from the spiritual experiences of the Congregation. In addition, they need to have encouragement and spiritual guidance that speaks to their daily lives as lay Christians. It is hoped that the Congregation will be able assist them in their journey through this life and in their commitment to the Gospel of Christ that calls them on this journey.

O.K. So What Is an Oblate?

Why do some Anglicans wish

to become CGS Oblates?

Men and women are attracted to the Oblate program because they are seeking God in Jesus Christ and believe they will be able to find Him through the Christian values manifested by the members of CGS and its Oblates. Such people recognize that the values of CGS and, ultimately, of the Gospel, have great significance in their own daily lives and in their own search for God in the midst of their ordinary lives of work and prayer and relationships. They are very aware of their own weaknesses and yet they know that God is calling them through His love to holiness. Both the Oblate and God recognize that it will be an ongoing struggle to overcome their defects, but they realize that the struggle will be easier if they can find prayerful nurture and guidance within the Congregation.

In our day, the rejection of the way of fidelity, faith, and obedience threatens our society with ruin. The promises that bind us as Christians are being loosened every day. In family life, in public life, and even in the churches, these vows are being replaced by a code of unrestraint and license. We pray that this Rule of Life, with those who vow to follow it and be led by it, may come to the rescue of society. Through the spreading of the Oblate program, we pray that the families of these men and women, and the other folks with whom they come in contact, will seek to return themselves to the Christian principles of fidelity, faith and obedience. When this happens, then we may rightly hope and pray that society and government will follow.

The Meaning of Oblate Life

?Oblate Life? begins as a Christian affiliation with the Congregation of the Good Samaritan for the purpose of reshaping and enriching one?s spiritual life by the Gospel of Christ as interpreted by the Rule of the Congregation. Oblates neither live in the religious house (although they are welcome to visit at any time), nor do they take the religious vows of profession, but at the time of their Oblation, they promise to form their lives within the Evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience, striving to become holy in their chosen way of life?whether as a married person, a single celibate or as secular clergy. It is through this commitment that Oblates bring the light of the Gospel into the world and encourage others to Our Lord?s call of love. Oblates can provide a powerful witness to the world of the real possibility of an intense Christian life in the midst of a largely non-Christian society. Along with the prayers and support of the community members of the Congregation, the daily reading of Scripture and the example of the Rule, Oblates, ordinary fallible people living among other ordinary, fallible people, are encouraged to live a life of extraordinary holiness. As they learn to live a life full of mutual respect, patience with others and obedience to God and others out of love of Christ, these ordinary people make room in their hearts from which the grace of God can flow.

An Oblate?s Responsibilities

The Congregation of the Good Samaritan received official status in the Diocese of New Orleans in May, 2009, although we had been working to establish the Congregation since as early as 2003. And since the beginning, it was our intent to make it clear that Oblates are active members of the House, not a separate or lesser group. Oblates have responsibilities of prayer, study and ministries, modified to fit into their secular life, but which in turn MODIFY THEIR SECULAR LIFE so that they may respond to their individual call to holiness. Oblates are welcome in the House at any time, and are especially encouraged to make a retreat once a year with the professed membership. In addition, they are given seat, voice and limited voting rights in Chapter and an elective seat on the Council.

FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES: The support of the Congregation comes from two primary sources. First, we rely on donations from the public, which are qualified for income tax consideration under the IRS. As a new organization, we are in the beginning stages of developing an active donor roll and hope that, in the future, this roll will become a great resource for support and growth.

At this time, each monastic (living in the house) member of the Congregation has income from employment or retirement, and these funds are turned over in full to the Congregation in order to support the House and to promote the health and growth of the Congregation.

It is expected that Oblates will do what they can to contribute to the support of the Congregation as well. We understand that each has personal responsibilities which we expect will be fulfilled. However, as one begins to modify ones life in holiness, we hope that a person will also be able to modify his financial situation so that you will be able to make some regular donation to the Congregation. We don?t want a written pledge, nor do we ask for any specified amount. We just ask that a person search heart and pockets and do what is possible.

Who Might Become an Oblate?

The Congregation of the Good Samaritan welcomes all Anglican women and men who are truly seeking God and have discerned a desire for affiliation with a Religious Order within the Anglican Catholic Church. Applicants should contact Father John Benedict, Governor General, or Sister Anne, Governess. As soon as the required paperwork is complete, the applicant will be ready to be received as a novice Oblate. This novitiate, a period of one year or more, gives time to become acquainted with the spirit of the Rule and members of the Congregation and let their values have a transforming effect on his Christian life. At the end of this period, if the Oblate novice discerns an ongoing call to continue their spiritual path within the Congregation, he or she may apply for Oblation. It is the Act of Oblation that formally makes one an Oblate. The Oblate then continues to share in the prayers and the works of the monastic community, to grow in communion with other Oblates, and live out the promises of poverty, chastity and obedience with an ever more persistent turning to Christ in the daily decisions of one?s life. This growth in Christ, achieved by God?s grace, comes about as all the members of the Congregation family offer mutual encouragement to one another to seek God by forming our lives according to the Gospel of Christ, embracing the values found in the Rule of the Congregation and as witnessed by the Community.

Junior Oblates

We are all aware that growing up in these times is a most difficult and dangerous thing to do. God has been taken out of school and other activities, and our children are presented with a godless society in which they are encouraged to conform.

Our children need our support and direction in order to have the courage to stay on the Christian path to Salvation. The Congregation of the Good Samaritan has developed a program for children of Confirmation age and older to help them on this most difficult journey. The program includes instruction in prayer, recommended readings, annual gatherings and personal guidance when needed. These young people will dedicate their lives to God at the Altar, just as our Oblates do, and will be encouraged to share in the prayer and the ministries of the Congregation.

We will keep in contact with parents to be sure they understand what is being asked of their children, and encourage them to add their support. We also hope that the parish priest will become involved with the Junior Oblate and will help with the formation and ministry.

The Rule of the Congregation of the Good Samaritan

The Statutes of the Congregation of the Good Samaritan

Contacts

The Right Reverend John Benedict McDonald CGS Governor General & Bishop Ordinary of the Missionary Diocese of the Philippines

frjohnbenedict@cgsorder.com