New members inducted into Community of St. John Cassian

Over 25 people gathered at St. Mark’s, Berkeley last Sunday afternoon, September 20, to celebrate the induction of two new postulants into the Community of St. John Cassian, a new Benedictine religious order based in downtown Berkeley. After a brief ceremony the two new members, along with their friends and supporters joined together in praying the Daily Office. Now comprised of 3 vowed brothers and 2 lay oblates — along with others who are in a discernment process — the community hopes to continue to grow as it provides a quiet witness to monastic tradition within The Episcopal Church.

“Starting a new religious order [in The Episcopal Church] wasn’t the most intuitive thing,” Brother Brendan, prior of the community said. However, the the support of Bishop Marc Andrus, their episcopal visitor, the community began holding public liturgies in May of 2015, making it the youngest traditional Benedictine order in The Episcopal Church. Inspired by 4th century monastic St. John Cassian, Br. Brendan — who is a convert from Eastern Orthodoxy — hopes to draw on ancient Christian traditions from the Eastern churches, in particular their contemplative practices. Currently, the Community of St. John Cassian holds public liturgies on the first and third Sundays of each month in the side chapel of St. Mark’s, Berkeley, CA.