The vows made by the brothers


Each monk may make free use of what he needs for his wellbeing and to allow him to fulfil his duties in a satisfactory manner, but will consider none of this to be his personal belongings: all goods are owned by the community and are shared amongst its members. The monk strives for a pared-down, simple lifestyle and renounces that which is not needed.


As a matter of principle, the monks enter into a faithful dialogue with their fellow brothers and the abbot. If a monk disagrees with the abbot, he will graciously accept the abbot’s ultimate decision. He considers the effort this may cost him to be his contribution to good relationships and maintaining the peace within the community, ‘all to the glory of God’ (Rule of Benedict).

The monastic way of life

This means that each monk should behave ‘like a monk’. Chastity entails more than abstinence from sex. Desire and selfishness have to be reined in and refined into friendly attention and humility. This is how the monks contribute to an atmosphere of affection, piety and mutual respect within the community.


The monk makes a commitment to and remains true to the community into which he enters. A brother should change communities only for serious reasons. If such a move occurs, a new formation period would start and a new vow of stability would be required.