Since the foundation of New Skete in 1966, a vital relationship has existed between the monastery and a broad range of friends who see New Skete as a spiritual anchor for their lives. Whether by membership in the parish, periodic visits and retreats, or through contact with our literature, many people experience a deep connection with New Skete and frequently tell us how important it is for their lives. For our part, these friends deeply enrich the monastery itself, and we look upon them as comprising an extended family, a network that shares in our ministry through the very real circumstances of their daily lives. They witness to the reality that New Skete is bigger than simply the Monks and Nuns, and have helped us broaden our understanding of what the vision and mission of New Skete is. We see them as being able to continue the legacy of the Companions of New Skete, our married community which was in existence at Emmaus House from 1983-2014.
Through discussion over the past months, the Spirit seems to be encouraging us to explore ways to formally support and enhance this connection. We envision a fellowship that deepens the bonds between New Skete and its friends, that helps us support each other in our shared desire to be faithful to the Gospel, and allows the unique perspective of this community the chance to grow, becoming a broader source of renewal for the whole Church. As such, the fellowship would be open to friends who have a deep interest in the life and work of New Skete and who seek a more explicit connection that deepens their own life of prayer and ministry.
The contemplative dimension is the unifying element of the spiritual life, the inheritance of every human being, and the key to a happy life. It is intensely creative, knitting together the whole of our lives, a source of enormous energy and vitality. It expresses itself in dedication to the Church and its liturgy, and ardently seeks the mutual understanding and reconciliation of all Christians, tolerance for those of different faiths, as well as a growing consciousness and respect for creation. But true contemplative values must be formed and nourished continually. Disciplined spiritual practice is essential if we are to experience this reality, and one of the functions of the fellowship would be to provide structure, resources, and encouragement towards that end. Members would follow a rule of life appropriate to their circumstances, and be encouraged to deepen their connection with the monastery and each other through periodic visits, as well as communication through email.
In 2016 New Skete celebrated its 50th anniversary. Each of the monastics here believes now more than ever that these values are crucial to a living and vital faith, and in the call to extend them to those outside the community who feel similar ideals. Today’s world presents profound challenges for anyone seeking to journey such a path; the support of a wider community is needed to help each of us stay faithful to our calling. If the vision of this fellowship attracts you, we encourage you to contact The Companions of New Skete, in care of the monastery.
To become a Companion of New Skete please click here. You will be re-directed to newskete.org/companions