Share Our Life – Rhannu Ein Bywyd

You may share our life as a Sister of the Society of the Sacred Cross, or as a part of our wider family as an Associate, Oblate or Alongsider. We also welcome volunteers to work in administrative and other tasks and to work to develop and maintain our land.

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had any need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the good will of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.


Acts 2.43-47 (NRSV)

Religious Life

The Religious Life is a way of life within the Christian Church originating in the desert Fathers and Mothers of the third and fourth centuries. Adherents gave up their possessions and left their work and families to live in simple devotion to God, inspired by the Scriptures. The first community is thought to have been founded by St Pachomius, leading to the first rule of life – not a list of do’s and don’ts, but a foundation for a group of diverse individuals to live peaceably together, with a common life of prayer, service and asceticism.

Today’s communities look a little different on the surface from our Egyptian forebears. Some are in urban areas, others rural; some have active ministries, others are contemplative; some wear the habit and others wear ordinary street clothes. These differences come from our commitment to living single-heartedly for God as the Spirit leads us. Common threads found across all religious life include:

  • a life defined by vows made to God, within the context of a particular community, which are ultimately made for life
  • commitment to the life of a specific community, which in turn reminds us constantly of our commitment to the body of Christ
  • a practice of communal, daily prayer, with particular emphasis on the Sacraments, and daily reading of Scripture
  • a commitment to simple living
  • a commitment to total obedience to God’s will
  • a commitment to chastity, including celibacy

In the Society of the Sacred Cross, this pattern is lived through the traditional monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. After an initial period as an Alongsider, during which the aspirant lives with the community and shares their pattern of life, the aspirant may apply to become a Postulant – meaning one who asks questions! At the end of postulancy she may apply to join the community, and if accepted, begin a two-year Novitiate. This period is a chance for her to test her vocation, learn about the monastic life, and become part of the life of the community. The next period is Simple vows, lasting for three years, followed by Solemn profession where the vows already made are affirmed for life. The community and the aspirant make this journey together, working to mutually discern if life as part of the Society will be life-giving for each aspirant.

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.