Society of St. Benedict

The Society of Saint Benedict shall function as a ministry of the Anglican Diocese of the West (Church of Nigeria North American Mission) for the purpose of formation in community guided by the study of Holy Scripture and the Rule of St. Benedict (Rule) to the end that the members of the society deepen their walk with Christ and live lives of obedience, humility, prayer and charity expressed in works of mercy, and obedience to the Great Commission (evangelism & mission—Mt 28:18-20). Essentially, this Society is for men and women (lay and clergy) who wish to encourage and hold each other up and accountable as to live the Christian life under the Gospel of grace in Christ.

  1. This society will operate under the episcopal oversight of the Anglican Diocese of the West (Church of Nigeria), with individual membership of laity and clergy who are members in good standing of a parish within the diocese. The rules of this Society are subject to revision by the Diocesan Bishop.
  2. This Society will be led by a Minister General appointed by the Diocesan Bishop for a term of 5 years (and renewable, as needed). Members are expected to follow the directions of the Diocesan Bishop and the Minister General. Failure to do so will lead to removal from the Society.
  3. Members of the Society shall be subject to the Canons and Constitution of the Diocese, the Diocesan Customary and the ecclesiastical discipline of the Anglican Diocese of the West.
  4. As a society, the focus will remain on establishing small group based communities throughout the diocese that will meet regularly for prayer, discipleship using the Rule, and studying the related Scriptural concepts both exegetically and devotionally in lectio with the intention of strengthening the members’ interior lives as “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22).
  5. The society will gather for virtual compline each month using the liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer approved by the Diocesan Bishop.
  6. The expectations of each member are as follows:
  7. Confirmed Anglican and received as a member of a parish in good
  8. standing with regular attendance in the diocese and with his or her Rector’s consent.
  9. Live a godly moral life in charity toward our brothers and sisters according
  10. to the Scriptures, and “be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19).
  11. Pray the offices daily (at the minimum, Morning and Evening Prayer).
  12. Study the Scriptures and thereby “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
  13. Aspire to grow deeper, more stable interior life in the power of the Holy Spirit, and welcome the stranger into a stable discipleship community.
  14. The following texts are recommended for prayer and study:
  15. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament.
  16. The Benedictine Handbook, published by Liturgical Press.
  17. Preferring Christ—A devotional commentary to the Rule of St. Benedict, by Norvene Vest.
  18. Any Prayer Book version approved by Diocese Constitution and Canons.
  19. For more information about the society, please contact The Very Rev’d Barry C. Kowald, Minister General of the Society of St. Benedict, at (210) 632-5360, or e- mail him at