Author (Your Name)

Sarah Miller, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. Religious Studies Dept.


Debra Campbell

Second Advisor

Larissa J. Taylor


In order to gain insight into the true status of contemporary American monasticism, I selected two religious communities to study; the Benedictine Sisters of Erie and the Society of Saint John the Evangelist. I chose one Roman Catholic community, the Benedictine sisters, and one Episcopalian community, the Society of Saint John the Evangelist to complete my study. Through my extensive research, I set out to investigate their spirituality, prayer life, and outreach programming for both clergy and laity alike. In addition, I hoped to explore each community's structure, organization model, leadership, census data, discernment processes, as well as their communal daily life. Furthermore, I decided to observe community life and interview members personally in order to learn about their personal backgrounds and reflections. Finally, I hoped to explore the unique charisms or characteristics of each community in order to discover how and why people are drawn to them in today's postmodern world Additionally, I wanted to discuss the role of religious communities in the Church in particular and throughout the world in general. At the conclusion of my investigation, I wanted to talk about why each of the aforementioned communities are thriving in order prove that religious women and men are not an endangered species.


Full-text download restricted to Colby College campus only.


American monasticism