Monastic Leadership

THE ABBOT is the head of the monastery. He is elected by the voting members of the community (members who have made solemn vows.) Benedict writes in his rule for monasteries that the abbot "[...] is believed to hold the place of Christ in the monastery, since his is addressed by a title of Christ...Therefore the abbot must never teach or decree or command anything that would deviate from the Lord's instructions." (RB 2:2) Throughout the novitiate year (the monk's first year), the abbot teaches a series of classes on the Rule of Benedict. Within the monastery he presides over all of the major liturgical celebrations, and it is to the abbot that one makes one's vows.

THE PRIOR is selected by the abbot with counsel from the senior monks. The prior is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the monastery, from the needs of the monks within the retirement center, to operating budgets, to menus for major celebrations. Additionally, if the abbot is away from the monastery on business, the prior acts as the head of the community.

THE SUB-PRIOR is also selected by the abbot with counsel from the seniors. Should both the abbot and the prior be away then he is in charge of the monastery. Because Saint John's is a larger monastery the each of the three offices, the abbot, prior and sub-prior, serve as immediate superiors to different age groups within the community. But of course, the abbot remains the major superior to all of the community.

THE FORMATION DIRECTOR/NOVICE MASTER is often combined depending upon the numbers of men in his care. He is responsible for the education and immediate oversight of the men who have not made solemn vows—those who are still discerning the possibility of becoming a monk for life, from novices to junior monks. As the immediate superior to both novices and juniors, he, with the formation committee, oversees their spiritual development and vocation discernment

THE PROCURATOR or CELLARER  is another name for what we would refer to today as TREASURER. He is charged with keeping track of the abbey's finances—in Benedict's time—anything of any value. Today, this includes budgeting the upkeep income and expenses of the Abbey, as well as the funding of new construction and the renovation of existing structures.

THE VOCATION DIRECTOR is selected by the Abbot to guide vocation discerners through their exploration and study of Catholic vocations. He keeps track of all the vocation discerners, connects discerners with the best suited Vocation Guides, and provides recommendations to the Abbey Admissions Committee for applications for candidacy.