Welcome to St. Mary’s Hermitage

St. Mary’s Hermitage is the Home of the Brunonite Hermit (or hermit who follows the charism of Saint Bruno of Cologne)

St. Mary’s Hermitage

Holy Celtic Church

Thank you for reading & God Bless you.

A life of Prayer in the presence of God

“In the sanctuary of our heart, he is there, waiting for us. One look, one second, suffices to meet him in the reciprocity of a simple profound friendship.” ~ A Carthusian. Interior Prayer p. 135

In a desert land, and where there is no way, and no water: so in the sanctuary have I come before thee, to see thy power and thy glory. Psalm 62:3

During the day when you read, work, walk to church, etc., a spark of love for the Lord, will en-kindle at times in your heart. It is good to cultivate the spontaneous uplifting of the heart by brief prayers, which, without need for discursive thought, can awaken a deep attitude of the heart and nourish it.” ~ A Carthusian. First Initiation into Carthusian Life p. 39

May Christ’s peace be with you!


St. Brendan's Ship
St. Brendan’s Barque

Welcome to my Blog-Site where occasionally I am able to share my thoughts with others.  I’m a contemplative Priest and Hermit, originally from Italy.  I attended a Salesian minor seminary school in Castrofilippo Italy and Diocesan Seminary also in Italy and occasionally in Rome.  I spent some years as a visitor with the Benedictines in Italy, Ireland and the UK, then with the Cistercians at Mellifont in Ireland in search of my “desert vocation” and eventually spend some time with the Carthusians at Serra San Bruno in Calabria.   In 1995 my bishop released me from diocesan duties and I commenced my life as a Priest and contemplative Hermit adopting the ancient Carthusian Customs (Consuetudines) or Rule written in 1128 (Guigo I, 5th Prior of Order) and I continue to use their pre Vatican II liturgy with the consent of my bishop.

I practice an Idiorrhythmic Celtic form of monasticism. Christian monasticism is the devotional practice of Christians living an ascetic and typically cloistered life that is dedicated to Christian worship. Its beginnings has roots in the early history of the Christian Church, modelled on the examples and ideals of the Scriptures, including those of the Old Testament, but it is not a mandatory institution mentioned anywhere in the Scriptures. It has come to be regulated by religious norms (for example, the Rule of Saint Augustine, Antony the Great, Saint Pachomius, the Rule of Saint Basil, the Rule of Saint Benedict, the Statutes of the Carthusian Order and the Consuetudines) and, in modern times, enshrined within canon law of the respective Christian denominations that support the monastic ways of life.

Today there are three kinds of monks:

  1. Cenobites, those living in a monastery under an abbot;
  2. Anchorites, or hermits, living a solitary life after long probation in the monastery;
  3. Sarabites, living by twos and threes together, without any fixed rule or lawfully constituted superior; 

The prototypical example of a Cenobite Monk is Saint Pachomius. The first coenobium (“monastery, monastic community”) from κοινόβιος (koinóbios, “communal living”) was founded by Saint Pachomius in southern Egypt, around the years 315 to 320. Saint Basil (329-379), who felt a certain reservations toward the eremitic life and their excessive austerity among the Egyptian monks, undertook to study and then the systematising of the religious life, finallyfelt inclined towards the cenobitic ideal of Saint Pachomius, but not before making some modifications to it. Monasticism of the “Basilian” court had from its origins always had a cenobitic character, evolving beyond what had been established by Saint Pachomius himself; in the “Pachomian” system the monks resided in different houses, without a monastic enclosure, they ate separately and only met in church for the main services held in church.

At a time when Byzantine monasticism had begun to experience a period of ascetical laxity and a new form of monastic life had began to emerge on Mount Athos around 1374. This new monastic phenomenon would be known under the name of “idiorrhythmic monasticism”. The origin of this unique monastic movement was due to a difference of opinion among the monks of Mount Athos, who were unwilling to submit to a prohibition upon monks to own property. The idiorrhythmic monks, either individually, or forming a society with another monk, acquired properties, taking possession of them for which they became owners, these goods served to sustain their life independent from their originating Community, such properties could also be bequeathed to other monk and as a logical consequence of this regime, the monks began to become independent from their former ἡγούμενος-Hegumenos similar to an our Abbots today.

St. Mary’s Hermitage therefore, is a self-regulating monastic institution within the Holy Celtic Church. The Holy Celtic Church is a member of the World Council of Churches through our membership with the International Council of Community Churches.

How I live and support myself:

I live a solitary life, and do not own property, having made vows to be  strictly bound to observe poverty in all I use, stability, obedience, and conversion of my life. I firmly believe that we need to imitate Christs poverty if we wish to share in his abundance

I teach and write to support myself, helped by my pension and from donations made for my work as a publisher, it pays the bills, what is left at the end of each month is distributed to those who need it most.

I am presided over by an Abbot but not under his direct daily supervision, although we are in touch several times a month. Our Abbot-Bishop is the Rt. Revd. Dom Alistair Bate OSBA (csr), MA Div.

There is no noviciate programme at St. Mary’s Hermitage. The hermitage is a one hermit hermitage. If you are considering an eremitic vocation I would recommend that you discuss the matter with your parish priest or diocese of the faith you belong to. Do bear in mind though, that becoming a hermit is not something one does to start off with, there is a sort of progression toward hermitage and most hermits be they Catholic, Anglican, Buddhist or Hindu would have started in a monastic institution first. To learn more please press here (Under Construction). If on the other hand you are considering a vocational discernment with the Holy Celtic Church, you should in the first instant contact our Bishop and discuss the matter with him. To Contact Bishop Alistair press here.

To learn more about life in Hermitage please press here (Under Construction).