The Hospitallers of St. Martin (HoSM)
Seeking to be A New Monastic Christian Community for Veterans Ministry
Seeking to be A New Monastic Christian Community for Veterans Ministry
“Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.” The Gospel of St. Luke Chapter 9
Each member may wear the appointed habit when participating in liturgy, preaching, hearing confession, counseling, teaching, or any other time they deem appropriate. The Hospitaller may wear a white tunic or alb and the blue hood and scapular. A cincture is optional, but if worn, the color shall be Blue. Additionally, a black monastic belt may be worn. The Hospitaller may wear a rosary or some other form of prayer rope on the cincture on the left side.
The Episcopal Church Service Cross shall be worn either inside or outside the habit. Black shoes or sandals are appropriate footwear for the habit. At masses the principal celebrant shall wear whatever is the custom of the house; assisting priests and deacons shall wear the stole appropriate to their order. The customs of the local parish, related to any habit, should take precedence when a member ministers there.
Novices shall wear only the alb and blue cincture for all ministries and liturgies. Full members, professed for three years or life shall wear the hood and scapular.
Life professed members’ rope cincture will include three knots reflecting the three vows. In addition life professed members may wear a black skull cap (Zuchetto). The Cincture is optional at all times.
Full members of the Hospitallers of St. Martin may, on occasions deemed appropriate by the Prior, wear the “Brother’s Collar.” When such a collar is worn, it is appropriate for the Episcopal Church Service Cross to be worn prominently.
When serving together or resident in the same parish members should strive to wear habits of matching character. Members of the Community who are canons, bishops, archdeacons, deans, etc. may follow the clothing customs of their respective office, particularly when functioning within their jurisdiction or on behalf of their jurisdiction.
On March 5th, 2016, eight veterans took vows to become novices in the Hospitallers of St. Martin.
The Hospitallers of St. Martin is seeking to be a new monastic Christian Community, as defined by Canon Law, in the Episcopal Tradition that Focuses on Prayer, Hospitality, and Reconciliation for veterans and all those who have been affected by war, poverty, and violence.
1. Members are distributed and must participate in the life of an Episcopal Church Parish.
2. The only titles we use will be “Brother” or “Sister.”
3. The Prior of the Community must always be a military veteran. If members feel there should be a change of Prior, the Bishop Visitor will adjudicate the matter. Other offices will be voted upon at an annual meeting by the members.
4. The colors of the Community are blue and white. Blue, because that was the color of St. Martin’s Cape that he cut in half. White, because of the healing work of a Hospitaller community.
We will participate in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist on Sundays (and on major feasts and other days as our circumstances permit). We will pray at least one office, either morning or evening offices daily, and audibly (out loud). We will seek to pray the Compline office with others as we are able.
We intend to participate in the Church’s continual offering of praise, thanksgiving and intercession, and, by structuring our lives around the daily office, affirm that all our lives belong to God.
We will practice regular Sabbath as a means of renewal so that we can lovingly serve God and neighbor.
We will fast from food once a week (either a full or partial fast).
Just as St. Martin cut his cape in half to clothe someone in need, we explore how we will follow his example by giving half of something to veterans or people experiencing poverty and homelessness.
We will be hospitable to veterans by attending veteran focused events and going to places where veterans are present.
We will seek to build community among veterans and the communities that sent them to war.
We will be hospitable to our faith community through participation in our worship, fellowship and mission.
We will serve God and neighbor out of gratitude for the love of God by visiting veterans who are terminally ill or dying.
We will identify and refer veterans to appropriate health care services.
We will attend a retreat with our Community at least once per year.
Regular examination of our obedience to Christ is necessary. To be reconcilers, we must first be deeply reconciled to God. We practice daily self-examination and regular use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
We report regularly to the Community on the keeping of our Rule. We have Spiritual Directors whom we see a minimum of twice a year.
We will seek opportunities to offer reconciliation to veterans, their families, and all those who are affected by war through Episcopal Veterans Fellowship moral injury groups and missional activities to veterans and people experiencing poverty.
We will continually raise awareness of issues like veteran suicide, healthcare, and family relationships to the local and national level.
We will share the redeeming, healing, creative love of God in word, deed and presence as an invitation to others to experience the transforming love of God.
Prayer for a Novice
Look with favor, Almighty God, upon these your servants N., who, in response to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, desire to commit themselves to you in a life of special vocation, and are undertaking to embrace the Rule of Life of the Hospitallers of St. Martin. Grant them the strength of your grace to persevere in their endeavor, and the guidance of the Spirit to find their true vocation. If it be your will that they continue in this way, reveal this to them, we pray, and bring them in due time to the taking of solemn vows; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
From the Episcopal Church Canons Page 117:
Sec. 2 (a) A Christian Community of this Church under this Canon is a society of Christians (in communion with the See of Canterbury) who voluntarily commit themselves for life, or a term of years, in obedience to their Rule and Constitution.
(b) To be officially recognized such a Christian Community must have at least six full members in accordance with their Rule and Constitution, and must be approved by the Standing Committee on Religious Communities of the House of Bishops and be registered with the Committee.
(c) Each such Christian Community of this Church shall have a Bishop Visitor or Protector, who need not be the Bishop of the Diocese in which the community is established. If, however, the Bishop Visitor or Protector is not the Bishop of the Diocese in which the Mother House of the Community is situated, the Bishop Visitor or Protector shall not accept election without the consent of the Bishop of that Diocese. The Bishop Visitor or Protector shall be the guardian of the Constitution of the Community, and shall serve as an arbiter in matters which the Community or its members cannot resolve through its normal processes.
(d) Any person under full commitment in such a Christian
Community, having exhausted the normal processes of the Community, may petition the Bishop Visitor or Protector for dispensation from that full commitment. In the event the petitioner is not satisfied with the ruling of the Bishop Visitor or Protector on such petition, the person may file a petition with the Presiding Bishop of the Church, who shall appoint a Board of three Bishops to review the petition and the decision thereon, and to make recommendation to the Presiding Bishop, who shall have the highest dispensing power for Christian Communities, and whose ruling on the petition shall be final.
(e) Each such Christian Community may establish a house in a Diocese only with the permission of the Bishop of the Diocese. This permission once granted shall not be withdrawn by the Bishop or any succeeding Bishop.
(f) The Constitution of each Christian Community shall make provision for the legal ownership and administration of the temporal possessions of the Community, and in the event of dissolution of the Community, or should it otherwise cease to exist, shall provide for the disposition of its assets according to the laws governing nonprofit (religious) organizations in the State wherein the Community is incorporated.
(g) It is recognized that a Christian Community is not a Parish, Mission, Congregation or Institution of the Diocese within the meaning of Canon I.7.3, and its provisions shall not apply to such Christian Communities.
Sec. 3. Any Bishop receiving vows of an individual not a member of a Religious Order or other Christian Community, using the form for “Setting Apart for a Special Vocation” in the Book of Occasional Services, or a similar rite, shall record the following information with the Standing Committee on Religious Communities of the House of Bishops: the name of the person making vows; the date of the service; the nature and contents of the vows made, whether temporary or permanent; and any other pastoral considerations as shall be deemed necessary.