Solitaries of DeKoven is a Religious Order of hermits within the Episcopal Church that embraces an ecumenical expression. With the death of one of our members and due to increasing age of the existing two members, we are no longer accepting new inquirers for vowed membership.
Although we may be small in numbers, we endeavour to live our vows faithfully in marked solitude and prayer in joyful abandonment to God’s love and life in the silence of the hermitage. Our day revolves around the Divine Office, contemplation, and intercession, study, and manual labour. Besides the normal tasks involved in living a simple life we we provide for our support by making and selling Anglican Prayer Beads, Pater Noster Cords, and other prayer aids as a way to support ourselves and as a vehicle to intercessory prayer.
We are dedicated to solitary prayer on behalf of the Church and world. There have always been hermits or solitaries in the Church. At times this vocation has been so hidden as to be almost invisible, but today there seems to be a movement of the Holy Spirit calling forth the Solitary vocation once again. Although the vocation to solitude may appear strange in today’s world, hermits follow in the footsteps of many thousands of people throughout the centuries who have drawn apart to spend their lives in prayer for the Church and the world. In the 3rd and 4th centuries hundreds of thousands of men and women lived in the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, and Syria as hermits or anchorites (the terms are interchangeable). This was the beginning of the vowed Religious life in the Christian Church and branched into both communal and solitary expressions of that life.
The vocation to silence and solitude witnesses to the fact that life is measured not by doing but by being. The work of prayer demands a discipline comparable to any other endeavor; and this work of prayer is not one of life’s extracurricular activities, done in spare time, but the very foundation of any other work a Christian may undertake.
Solitaries of DeKoven have as their patron Blessed James DeKoven, a deeply spiritual and courageous man who stood against the tide of his times in the mid 1870's. It is his fierce spirit of vocation and devotion that is the inspiration of the Solitary of DeKoven.