Solitaries of DeKoven is a Religious Community of hermits within the Episcopal Church that embraces an ecumenical expression. With the death of two of our members and due to increasing age of the existing member, we are no longer accepting new inquirers for vowed membership. At this point, there is one Core member at the Vigeat Radix Hermitage who continues to live out her vows under the guidance of her bishop, spiritual director and the governing council of the Solitaries of DeKoven. As a Core member, she endeavours to live out her vows faithfully in marked solitude and prayer in joyful abandonment to God's love and life in the silence of the hermitage. Her day revolves around the Divine Office, contemplation, and intercession, study, and manual labour. Besides the normal tasks involved in living a simple life she helps provide for her support by making and selling Anglican Prayer Beads, Pater Noster Cords, and Prayer Quilts through our Hermitage Store as a way to support ourselves and as a vehicle to intercessory prayer.
Our remaining Core Member, even though her hermitage is now in the city, is dedicated to solitary prayer on behalf of the Church and world. She joins with other Religious and dedicated lay persons the world over in this vocation of prayer and intercession. There have always been hermits or solitaries in the Church. At times this vocation has been so hidden as to be almost invisible, but today there seems to be a movement of the Holy Spirit calling forth the Solitary vocation once again. Although the vocation to solitude may appear strange in today’s world, hermits follow in the footsteps of many thousands of people throughout the centuries who have drawn apart to spend their lives in prayer for the Church and the world. In the 3rd and 4th centuries hundreds of thousands of men and women lived in the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, and Syria as hermits or anchorites (the terms are interchangeable). This was the beginning of the vowed Religious life in the Christian Church and branched into both communal and solitary expressions of that life.
The vocation to silence and solitude witnesses to the fact that life is measured not by doing but by being. The work of prayer demands a discipline comparable to any other endeavor; and this work of prayer is not one of life’s extracurricular activities, done in spare time, but the very foundation of any other work a Christian may undertake.
Solitaries of DeKoven have as their patron Blessed James DeKoven, a deeply spiritual and courageous man who stood against the tide of his times in the mid 1870's. It is his fierce spirit of vocation and devotion that is the inspiration of the Solitary of DeKoven.