The Order of Saint Luke is a dispersed religious order whose members affirm that they will live the Rule of Life and Service in covenant with all other members. Membership in the Order of Saint Luke is based upon an intentional commitment to the Rule of Life and Service.
We encourage gifts and tithes as a spiritual discipline in support of the work of the Order of Saint Luke but this is not the basis of membership. Most members make an annual reaffirmation of their commitment to live the Rule of Life and Service. Some, after some years of renewing vows annually, discern a vocation to life-vows.
If you want to know more about the order and becoming a member we welcome your inquiries.
I. The path to membership
Membership in the Order of Saint Luke is vocational. We depend on the Holy Spirit to call each new brother or sister. We provide seekers with information and spiritual guidance. For starters, please explore this website, especially the tab “About Us”. If you want additional information, you can contact Sr. Carol Gathagan, Companion for Inquirers and Initial Members. She will address your questions and will guide you in taking appropriate next steps.
The path to membership allows seekers to learn about the Order, discover its life and work, and to “try on” the common life of the Order for a period time before becoming a member. It is like trying on new shoes to see if there is a proper fit. Sr. Carol will point you to additional resources.
When seekers determine that they want to move forward toward membership there are two steps: a time of Inquiry and a time of Initial Membership. Both involve a pilgrimage of learning and discernment of call while sharing in the life of the Order.
II. Continued Membership–Reaffirmation
“Membership in The Order is continued by A. Making annual renewal of vows and communicating this renewal to the Chancellor General and B. Professing this renewal in the context of the General Chapter or a Chapter or Association, whenever possible; or C. Undertaking profession of Life Vows.” (The Constitution, Article V—Section 2) We do not take our affirmation lightly; we ask members to make their commitment before God, making the reaffirmation with an attitude of prayer and perhaps a time of fasting and discernment.
All renewing members are asked to reaffirm these vows annually on the Feast of Saint Luke, October 18th. Our Chancellor General, Sr. Jeanette Block, sends a renewal letter to all members prior to our patronal feast day. When you complete your time of discernment to renew your vows, please click here and print & fill the form out and mail it to the address below (also included on the form).
Sr. Jeanette Block, OSL, Chancellor General, 401 Provincetown Road, Cape May, NJ 08204 609/364-9187
III. Life Vows
The Order of Saint Luke established life-vowed membership in 1995. There is no expectation that members will take life vows. As with annually-vowed membership, life-vowed members covenant to live their lives according to the Rule of Life and Service. Life-vowed members are different in terms of the duration of their professed intention, but life-vowed members are not superior to annual-vowed members. This is evident in our polity. For instance, one can hold any office in the Order (including Abbot) as either a life-vowed or annually vowed member.
While annually-vowed members may begin discernment of call profess life-vows, we strongly encourage waiting several years before considering this step. Members seeking to enter discernment begin the process by writing to the abbot stating their request to begin discernment of call to life vows. During the discernment period, a life-vowed member accompanies the discerning member throughout the process of self-examination. Except in extenuating circumstances, life-vowed profession is made at the annual retreat.
Annually renewing members who want to consider life-vows should contact the abbot, Sr. Elizabeth Moore in the fall of the year. Discernment of life-vowed membership takes place under the abbot’s direction over at least one year’s time.
Life-vowed members do not complete a reaffirmation form but are expected to update their information with the Chancellor General each year.
IV. Friends of the Order
We welcome anyone who seeks a more informal relationship with the Order of Saint Luke. If you are interested and want to take your time in getting to know us and our mission, you can elect to be a Friend of the Order (FO). Friends of the Order are welcome to attend local chapter or association meetings, participate in the CyberChapter or Order of Saint Luke Facebook group, or to be part of other Covenant Communities.
If FOs contribute financially to the Order’s work, they receive our subscriptions, Sacramental Life and The Font. Friends of the Order differ from members in that they do not make a profession of vows to live the Rule of Life and Service in covenant with members of the Order.
If you would like to a Friend of the Order, please make your request to the Chancellor General with your contact information.