Nashotah House announces $3.5 million legacy gift

November 17, 2016


[Nashotah House Theological Seminary press release] Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Wisconsin has received a $3.5 million commitment from the Order of St. Benedict Servants of Christ as a gift to carry on the Order’s legacy. The endowed fund will be used to support the St. Benedict Servants of Christ Professorship in Ascetical Theology and Monastic Studies and an annual international conference on religious life and Anglicanism also named for the Order.

The Order was founded in 1968 by the Very Rev. Dom Cornelis deRijk, OSB, a priest and Benedictine monk, with the Rev. Canon Lewis Long in Phoenix, Arizona. The Priory of the Servants of Christ is a Benedictine community guided by the balance of prayer, study, and work. DeRijk, the head of the order, received his Master of Divinity degree from Nashotah House in 1976. He died unexpectedly on Sept. 24 of this year.

As membership in the Order diminished, it became clear to deRijk that the Order needed to leave a legacy in a way that would appropriately recognize and carry on the Benedictine values that were at its core.

Originally conceived for monks, Benedictine spirituality underwrites The Book of Common Prayer and permeates the Anglican way of spiritual growth. As a monastic spirituality, it is concerned for community and the cultivation of charity. An embodied spirituality, the Benedictine way fastens spiritual life to the outward disciplines proven to foster inward growth.

“The Benedictine way of spirituality is a cornerstone of the Nashotah House ethos. As we practice the Benedictine disciplines of work, study, and prayer together the members of our community grow in faith, hope, and a love beyond words,” said the Very Rev. Steven A. Peay, dean and president of Nashotah House.

“This generous gift-investment will honor the Order’s legacy of service, keeping it alive in-perpetuity. It will insure that, for generations to come, House seminarians will benefit from their exposure to the great Church leaders and mentors who will occupy the Professorship and present at the annual international conference,” according to Peay.

“We are very humbled and proud that the Servants of Christ and their place in Church history will be permanently tied to Nashotah House and our mission.”

Founded in 1842, Nashotah House Theological Seminary is a recognized seminary for the Episcopal Church. Its mission is to educate the highest quality of leaders both ordained and lay, for the mission of the Church.

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