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Benedictine Monasticism and the Lay Vocation

Mr. Andrew Bourque wrote about "Benedictine Monasticism and the Lay Vocation" as a thesis for the MTS degree from St. Peter’s Seminary, London, Ontario. He generously makes it available at the OSB website both as a MS .doc file (532 kb) and in PDF format (399 kb).


The research paper, “Benedictine Monasticism and the Lay Vocation,” explores the origins of Christian monasticism, the development of Benedictine monasticism and spirituality, how the Rule of St. Benedict exemplifies Patristic monastic spirituality and the way in which the Benedictine vows of conversatio morum, stability, and obedience can be applied to the lay vocation. The intent of this paper was to create a document that could act as a general introduction to monasticism, Benedictine spirituality, and the application of the Rule to everyday life. This paper is free to distribute and link to so long as credit is given to the author.

Andrew Bourque converted to Catholicism from Anglicanism in 1997 while still a university student. Presently, he works as a religion teacher at a Catholic secondary school near Toronto. In addition to his recently completed MTS degree from St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario, he holds a BA in Religious Studies from King’s University College, a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Toronto and a master's degree in Religious Education from the University of St. Michael’s College.

Andrew has a deep love for monasticism and the Rule of St. Benedict. In fact, monasticism has played an important role in his Christian journey since his late teens.  As a 19-year-old Anglican Andrew made an extended summer retreat with the Episcopalian Benedictine monks at St. Gregory’s Abbey in Three Rivers, Michigan. The retreat introduced him to the riches of monastic life. Since then he has made many retreats at Catholic monasteries and tries to bring the wisdom of St. Benedict’s Rule into his everyday life. You can contact Andrew at: <andrewbourque @ hotmail.com>.


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