an Introduction and brief history



        The Ecumenical Fellowship of Saint John was founded in Los Angeles in the Spring of 1972 by five men -- clergy and lay -- from the Episcopal, Lutheran and Roman Catholic communions of the Church.  All five, friends and frequent binomo download for pc visitors in each other’s churches, expressed interest in the vocation to the religious life and in pursuing the goal of establishing a religious community and monastery.  Father Alden Franklin, a priest of the Episcopal Church since 1955, served as our religious advisor and helped formulate an early Statement of Purpose.  He has been Celebrant at our Patronal Eucharist on several occasions.

    Our first celebration of Saint John’s Day was 27 December 1972 at Village Church of Westwood (Lutheran) in Los Angeles.  The following Saint John’s Day, 1973, four of the founding group, two Lutherans and two Roman Catholics, committed their lives to this goal and made their Promises of Commitment at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, Los Angeles.  With the permission and blessing of the Rt Rev Robert Rusack, Bishop of Los Angeles, Father Franklin was celebrant at this Mass of Profession.

    The ensuing years have seen our yearly patronal celebrations hosted by a dozen different parishes, including St Augustine’s Episcopal and both Lutheran churches, St Peter and Trinity, as well as St Hubert Roman Catholic, here on South Whidbey Island.  Two of the Founding Brothers have persevered to this day forming the core of our resident monastic community which is augmented by Oblates and Associates scattered near and far.  We were officially recognized by the Standing Committee on Religious Communities of the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church as a canonical religious community at Diocesan Convention 2010.

        The Rt Rev Sanford Z K Hampton, Diocese of Olympia, is our Episcopal Visitor.


   “To promote interest, study and understanding of the vocation to the religious life, and to sustain a religious (monastic) community on South Whidbey Island.”  This monastic community is guided by the venerable Rule of Saint Benedict.

Our primary focus as a monastic community is

“Advancing the Worship, Music and Arts of the Church”


       Saint Benedict, the “Father of Western Monasticism,” wished his monks to be self-supporting and live in community.  His Rule for Monasteries -- a daily balance of liturgical prayer, manual labor, and spiritual reading -- exacts no unusual austerities, but aims rather to cultivate the family spirit of the community and to establish moderation as an ideal.

    Benedict established a monastery near Rome in about 525 AD, and during his lifetime set up 12 monasteries where he ruled as abbot.  The “Benedictine” movement spread quickly and became a great force in the development of Europe.  The Benedictines were forefront among the great missioners who converted the barbarians, teaching them agriculture and the arts, and settling them in towns and villages near the monasteries.  Farm land was produced from wilderness where wild beasts had roamed.

     The example of democracy among the monks and their Rule conditioned the peoples of Britain and continental Europe for the eventual abolition of serfdom and the democratic forms of government that were gradually won.  Today there are Benedictine monasteries in most of the free world.