Order of the Holy Cross

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Church of St. Augustine at Holy Cross Monastery, West Park, NY

The Order of the Holy Cross (Anglican) is an international Anglican monastic Order that follows the Rule of St. Benedict.


The Order was founded in 1884 by the Rev. James Otis Sargent Huntington, an Episcopal priest, in New York City. The Order moved to Maryland briefly before settling in West Park, New York, in 1902. Today the Order operates five houses: Holy Cross Monastery, West Park, New York; Mt. Calvary Retreat House and Monastery, Santa Barbara, California; Incarnation Priory, Berkeley, California; Holy Cross Priory, Toronto, Ontario; and Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery, Grahamstown, South Africa. At the 2007 Annual Chapter, a decision was made to close Incarnation Priory.


The monks of the Order engage in various ministries, the chief being that of prayer (including the Divine Office and daily Mass, as well as hosting guests for individual and group retreats. The Order estimates that more than 5,000 guests stay at Holy Cross Monastery, one of the largest monastic retreat centers in the Episcopal Church, each year. Holy Cross Monastery also makes and sells incense and religious literature. Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery operates a retreat house and is actively involved in the education of rural farm children through its scholarship programme. Both Incarnation Priory, Berkeley and Holy Cross Priory, Toronto are urban expressions of the Benedictine life where besides the Offices and Eucharist, monks are actively involved in the work of the local Church. Some members of the Order engage in occupations such as being therapists or parish priests. Mt. Calvary is primarily a retreat house. All monasteries of the Order offer spiritual direction and counsel.


Monks of the Order follow and threefold vow of obedience, stability, and conversion to the Monastic way of life. In general, monks of the Order are encouraged to develop their own ministries within their monastic vocation. They undergo periods of discernment and formation when entering the Order. The daily life of the monastery revolves around a balance of prayer, work, study, and rest.


Lay people and diocesan clergy (male and female) may join the Associates of Holy Cross. According to the Associates' web site, members "intend to love and serve God through a relationship with the Order of the Holy Cross (Anglican), adapting to their lives the Benedictine principles on which the monks base their common life." Associates live under a Rule of Life developed with the help of a Spiritual Director and have an ongoing relationship with the Order. Associates are entitled to use the post-nominal initials AHC. Notable Associates include The Bishop of Central Pennsylvania, the Rt. Rev. Nathan D. Baxter and The Bishop of Maryland, the Rt. Rev. Robert Ihloff.

Holy Cross Publishing

The Order is best known for its publishing of the Anglo-Catholic devotional guide Saint Augustine's Prayer Book, back in 1949. The Order also co-published, with the sisters of the Order of St. Helena, A Monastic Breviary, which succeeded A Four Office Breviary.

Br. Robert Sevensky, OHC, is the current Superior of the Order. The Rt. Rev. Mark Sisk is Bishop Visitor and the Rt Rev. Ann Tottenham is Deputy Bishop Visitor.

External links