We are often asked if there is a way lay persons living in the world can affiliate with and live out the Cistercian charism in their own state of life, in much the same way as the Benedictine Oblates, Third Order Franciscans, Secular Carmelites, etc., do with the charisms of these religious families. I’m pleased to say that such a group has received official affiliation with the monks of New Clairvaux known as the Lay Cistercians. Our group is recognized by the International Association of Lay Cistercians, which has member groups around the world.
Recently we had the honor of welcoming a new member to our Lay Cistercians, Sharon Stover of Chico, CA. Following a prolonged period of formation in the Cistercian charism Sharon pronounced her Final Promises at a special ceremony in St. Cecilia’s chapel officiated by Br. Christopher, the Abbey’s monastic liaison with our Lay Cistercian community. With her husband Jeff and fellow Lay Cistercians present, Sharon promised her lifelong commitment to living out her Christian faith in accordance with the Cistercian principles, values and spirituality as possible in her state of life, under the patronage of Our Lady of New Clairvaux and St. Bernard.
We give thanks to God for this grace and ask His Blessing on all who find themselves enriched by our Cistercian charism. Those interested in learning more about the group are invited to write to: firstname.lastname@example.org