Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Ps. 133:1)
Christ is Risen. Truly he is Risen
Dear Friends of St. Paul’s Brotherhood,
Wishing you all a blessed feast of the Glorious Resurrection. Christ is Risen, let us rise with Him.
We are excited to announce some updates about the Saint Paul Brotherhood, and for those who are unfamiliar with us, we would like to take a moment to introduce ourselves to you all.
St. Paul’s Brotherhood was established in 2001. With the life of the Apostle Saint Paul in mind, the vision was to have a monastically rooted community of priests, deacons and laity, who live together in unity, but who are also committed to serve the whole diocese. Thus, its members profess four vows: poverty, chastity, obedience, and service.
The first three are the monastic vows taken since the time of the early desert fathers, while the vow of service stems from the commitment to serve as St. Paul served. The Brothers seek to emulate the life of Saint Paul, who exemplified the harmony of celibacy and service. St. Paul served the rich and the poor, the Jews and the Gentiles, the educated and the uneducated. He was a model preacher and skillful author. He served all people, as he said, “I teach everywhere in every church” (1 Cor. 4:17).
In May 2001, Fr. Ishak Boulos (Isaac Paul) was ordained as the first priest of the Brotherhood, and was followed soon after by Fr. John Paul, in 2002. The Brotherhood was then opened to those interested in the life, and many youth would spend days in retreat with the two, following schedules of prayer and praises, and helping in the service in various aspects.
One of the areas of focus in the service of the Brotherhood is education. Accordingly, one of the Fathers began the long journey through both a Masters Degree and Doctorate with the hopes of establishing a strong Theological Academy in the diocese. During this separation, each father focused on one area of the service, one helping establish parish churches, the other firmly rooted in education and mission. During this time, however, the Brotherhood published numerous books, articles, and anthologies. The fruit of this work is the new St. Athanasius and St. Cyril Theological Seminary (ACTS), and tens of publications from the St. Paul Brotherhood.
In 2013, two new permanent additions to the Brotherhood were made, and interest in the community has grown significantly. With the increase in size, the initial vision of the Brotherhood services has become more realizable. The Brotherhood, in emulation of Saint Paul, has its services focused toward:
- Mission and evangelism
- Social services
- Christian education
These broadly capture the overall categories of services, but within these are many and diverse subcategories that reach into the daily life of Copts and non-Copts of the Diocese.
In April 2014, by the grace of God, the Brotherhood purchased a 20-acre parcel of land with two buildings to house the current Brotherhood members. It is hoped that the establishment of a permanent abode will give the Brotherhood a greater sense of community, and that through it, these services may be continued.
St. Paul’s Brotherhood is looking forward to the next chapter of its history, apart from the general services of the members, new services may include:
- A quarterly journal-styled newsletter
- Diocese Curriculum development
- Personal retreats either at Big Bear or our own facilities when we can physically allow for this
- New publications with various themes: Social, Theological, Patristic, and Biblical
- Diocesan level
- Administrative Services
- Youth Services
- Social Outreach Programs
Since the initial writing of this brief history, the Brotherhood added a new member, Deacon Macarius Paul.
Please keep St. Paul’s Brotherhood always in your prayers.