[Episcopal News Service] The brothers at Holy Cross Monastery in Grahamstown, South Africa, observe a holy routine. With six services and an extended period of silence every day, it’s a life of prayer and worship, of community and of deep devotion to God.
But while living in community may be central to the brothers’ vocation, building global partnerships is critical to their ministry here.
For the past 10 years, Holy Cross has partnered with the Episcopal Church’s Young Adult Service Corps program. The young missionaries, age 18-30, live at the monastery and assist at the affiliated Holy Cross School, founded by the brothers to provide education to the children of local farm workers.
Another fruit of the global partnerships is the annual Reading Camp, a ministry begun in the Diocese of Lexington and replicated in Grahamstown to help children who are struggling to read and write.
The Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery, as it is known locally, is one of four communities throughout the world that form the Order of the Holy Cross. The others are Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, New York; Mount Calvary Retreat House & Monastery in Santa Barbara, California; and Holy Cross Priory in Toronto, Canada.
Founded in 1884 by Episcopal priest the Rev. James Huntington. The order lives by the rule of St. Benedict, which says: “All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ.” As such, hospitality is a key part of community life and the brothers routinely host guests for retreats.
— Matthew Davies is an editor/reporter of the Episcopal News Service.