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Cistercian Order of the Holy Cross Common Observance Inc

The Cistercian Order of the Holy Cross, Common Observance is, an independent dispersed religious order within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and an autonomous member of the Independent Anglican Church – Canada Synod.

www.CistercianMonks.org Tax ID 20-0147980


Br. Benedict often said, "Miracles are always happening because God loves you. He's got your back."

The Br. Benedict, O.C.C.O.

Memorial “We Got Your Back” Program

The Cistercian Order of the Holy Cross is an Anglican religious order of men and woman who follow the Rule of St. Benedict. It’s members continue to live in their homes, worship in their own churches and keep their employment etc. This offers a rare opportunity for persons who want to live an exceptional Christian life the support and encouragement to do so.

Many of its members are retired and many of them are rather poor. While they know that they are responsible for their own care there are occasions when a bout with overwhelming health situations create an emergency financial need.

We are a loving supportive community. Our hearts go out to these very sincere people and their families.

We are asking you, dear donor, to give generously to the “We Got You Back” Emergency Fund.

The fund would work like this: If one of our active members were in need they would call the volunteer administer who would assess their medical needs. An emergency medical need would be addressed immediately. The administrator would continue to provide help by way of budgeting assistance and some further finances if needed. The monk would be responsible to pay back the funds without interest utilizing an extremely reasonable payment plan. This would keep the Emergency Fund self sustaining.

We are extremely grateful for your help and will be keeping every donor in our prayers.

The “We God Your Back” Emergency fund was inspired by Br. Benedict, OCCO.

Br. Benedict was a life professed monk with us who went onto heaven on September 13, 2018.

He was an exceptionally holy monk whom I loved dearly. Unfortunately both he and his wife Alexis had a number of disabilities and lived in constant physical and emotional pain. We had the privilege of helping them financially particularly with some medications. Via video I and his family conducted the “Last Rites” by his hospital bed. God lead a Roman Catholic Eucharistic minister to arrive at the conclusion of our service. He died shortly after surrounded by his family and a host of angels.

I offer here some additional information that was presented at his funeral in the hopes that you might grow to love him as much as I.

Br. Benedict, OCCO , Passed to the heavens surrounded by his family and many angels. So many angels that the hospital staff saw them. Br. Benedict and I spent many video hours together. He had been hurt and disappointed by the church. He had to figure out if I was trustworthy. In that process we became the best of friends. When it was time to join he went to town selling me on his Cistercian journey. “Dear Father Abbot I dreamed of being a monk when I was little. As you can see I am still in love with St. Benedict. I agreed to the obvious. So he took on a pensive look and said, “Well Abbot let me think about that.” Br. Benedict was so very humorous, captivating and a dear lover of our Lord. I miss him terribly.

His wife Alexis describes Br. Benedict “as a deeply devoted man, not only to God, but to his family, friends and any stranger who needed a prayer or a friendly conversation. He had a gift for making anyone feel like family. He could see people's hearts and never held a grudge. He was stubborn and difficult but he was also the kindest, sweetest and most caring man I ever knew. He was my Viking Monk, intense, funny, and kind. Benedict was always full of life despite being in so much pain for so long. He wanted people to see the strength, not the weakness, and tried to maintain that until the end.

He never blamed anybody for his faults and was way too hard on himself. Being a former Marine, he would hide his pain and often push it too far. I would tell him that he needed to show people how much he was actually suffering, but he couldn’t do it.

He was my soul mate, my best friend, and the love of my life. I never once regretted being with him and I never felt gypped by his illness. I would have taken care of him forever. I am the person I am today, and a better person, because I was blessed with the presence that is Benedict.”

Some unique aspects of the Order of the Holy Cross are:

1. First order monks are single or married. Many of our members live in their homes, not in a residential monastery.

2. They may live in or outside a monastery. Many of our members have a monastic “feel” to their homes.

3. They may perform works of charity, pastoral ministry, and mission work.

4. Priests and deacons of/in the Order may be single or married. We have a realistic formation program for those men who wish to be ordained.

5. Men and women from both the Historic “catholic” and Protestant churches may participate as third order oblates.

Our typical member is a married working man/woman who is active in their church and community and who wants to advance in their spiritual life. Several of our members have are advanced in age and have a physical disability.

Our research indicates that the Holy Spirit has already called men and women who are married or single, to the life we are describing. These individuals are largely unattached to a formal institution, although they prefer otherwise because few such institutions exist. And, where they do exist, entry requirements and lifestyles are not realistic. It is our desire to support, educate, and validate such people of faith.

Our purpose is:

1. To seek perfection through Contemplation, Work, Prayer, Stability, and Obedience

2. To praise and worship God daily

3. To produce educational materials

4. To host retreats and maintain retreat houses

5. To found autonomous religious communities

6. To prayerfully intercede for those in need and for peace in the world

7. To perform works of charity, pastoral ministry, and mission work.

In brief

We serve men and women, clerical or lay, married or single by:

· Helping them grow in perfection through the use of the Rule of St. Benedict, our Constitution and Manual, and community life

· Consecrating to a first-order religious life those who want to live either in community or outside community

· Validating and assisting those already living the religious life but not living in a formal community

· Helping those who desire a lesser involvement in a monastic life through our third order oblate program

· Supporting men with a call to priesthood through ordination, incardination or encouraging those who wish to stay in their existing jurisdictions

· Encouraging our membership in a contemplative life as well as in works of charity, pastoral ministry, and mission work.

To learn more about us please visit CistercianMonks.org

The Most Rev. Oscar Joseph, OCCO Abbot General Holy Cross Monastery 1606 Briar Lake Circle Winston-Salem, NC 27103-6647 



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