~A Third-Order Benedictine & Franciscan Community~
“Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”...
St. Francis of Assisi
The Very Rev. Abbot Andrew Counts, CJ
Fr. Andrew Counts has been the Abbot of the Company of Jesus since 2004. Previously, he served as the Director of Benedictine Vocations after making his own Benedictine profession in 2002. His main occupation has been that of a Professional Christian Counselor, working in a variety of settings, including both inpatient and outpatient treatment settings. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor in West Virginia and currently works as an outpatient group therapist for Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston, WV. He also maintains a small private counseling practice at Associates in Counseling and Psychology, also in South Charleston.
The Company of Jesus holds to the teachings and worship forms of the Anglican Church. Our Episcopal Visitor is Bishop Juan Alberto Morales of the (Anglican) Diocese of Quincy and we are currently applying to the Anglican Church of North America for Ministry Partner status. We are however, ecumenical, and membership in the Company of Jesus is open to all baptized Christians, regardless of denomination.
The Company of Jesus is a modern 'Third-Order' monastic community. This concept comes from St. Francis, who initially formed his First Order for men, Second Order for women, and Third Order for those in the world who had secular jobs and families, but wished to live according to a Rule of Life. As such, a vow of celibacy is not required. We have applied the Third Order concept to Benedictines as well, yielding a membership of both Professed Franciscans and Benedictines.
As a Third Order, we do not require our members to take a vow of celibacy. Faithfulness in one's current state of life is our standard. Many of the sisters and brothers in the Company of Jesus are married and participate fully in the order as professed members or as "oblates". While some of our members are solitary and have chosen that path, they are also free to pursue marriage if they so desire.
We find the blending of Benedictine and Franciscan charisms to be rich and stimulating as we discover the place where our own will ends and where Christ's will...begins. We encourage you to join us in this adventure of discovery! "
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