Anamchara Fellowship is a new expression of monasticism.
Founded in the tradition of the Episcopal Church, with a Celtic spirit. Anamchara fellowship has received canonical recognition by the House of Bishops' Committee on the Religious Life. We strive to be an inclusive community, welcoming men and women, clergy and lay, married, single, or partners in a committed relationship. Members of the fellowship may live in their own homes or in groups as the ability for that arises. Each member must be self supporting, and we are bound to each other by common ideals and a commitment to prayer and service. Our primary ministries focus on catechesis, pastoral care and spiritual direction.
Portrait of the Anamchara Fellowship at their 2012 Gathering
What is Anamchara?
The most frequent question we are asked is, "What is that first word: ANAMCHARA?"
Anamchara is a Gaelic word for "soulfriend". It was the style of formation given to a new monk or nun in a Celtic monastery, whereby the new member would be paired up with an older, more experienced monk. In this way the new Religious would have a more personal mentoring in the monastic tradition. (The Roman or Continental style of formation is more like students together in a class sitting with one teacher for all.) The Anamchara is the model we seek to draw back into our Religious training. "Friendship is the nature of God. The Christian concept of God as Trinity is the most sublime articulation of otherness and intimacy, an eternal interflow of friendship. Jesus is the secret Anamchara of every individual." (John O'Donohue)
The Vows are:
Simplicity of Life: seeking to live without a spirit of accumulation and using all things with gentleness and respect.
Fidelity: living with integrity and faithfulness in the state of life in which God has placed you, striving for peace and mercy for all.
Obedience: being under the authority of the ecclesial jurisdiction of one's denomination and following the guidelines, customary and constitution of the Fellowship.
The Fellowship was incorporated in May, 2003, in the State of Delaware. We began with two Professed members, and have now grown conisderably, both as members and as Compaions. Members are available to preach, lead retreats, quiet days, workshops, or discussions for your parish or group. Contact the Abbess for more information.
Abbess Barbara Clare Conroy
As we have grown, we have developed priory groups, that reflect the various geographical locations of our members.
The Caledonia Priory - Michigan
The Iona Priory - Southern California
The Kildara Priory - Lower Delaware
The Lindesfarne Priory - Oregon
The Whitby Priory - Upper Delaware
Members At Large (Northern Calif, North Carolina and Colorado)