Why Lady Monks?


Image: The Prayer Foundation logo (with white celtic cross on a green shield).  



Photo: Celtic cross.

Image: portion of illuminated manuscript page from "The Book of Kells."Photo Copyright 2006, S.G.P.  All Rights Reserved. Photo: of monk Linda in the Canadian Rockies (Bow Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta). Photo Copyright 2006 S.G.P.  All Rights Reserved. Monk Linda in the Canadian Rockies (Banff & Jasper National Parks; July, 2006). 

The E-mail that we received:


I found your site a few days ago and I'm really impressed by your organization and sincerity.                                                                           If you have time for a quick question, I'd be grateful.                      What's the difference between a lady monk and a nun according to you? And why didn't Linda become a nun?                                                     

You guys are needed in this world.  I'll pray for you.                             

May God keep you all on his priority list!                                             Pernilla  (Sweden)

Our Answer:

 We feel that historically not giving Full Monk Status to women was symbolic of a second-class status for women that is opposed by the clear teaching of God in His Scriptures.

A Female Monastic   

So it is a matter of us using a different terminology to reflect the reality of our granting of a Full and Equal Monk Status to female monastics.

Lady Monks are female monastics.  A Nun is a female monastic.  In all Religious Orders other than ours, women do not receive Full Monk Status; Oblates (lay persons affiliated with a monastic Order) do not receive Full Monk Status, and Married Persons do not receive Full Monk Status (exception: there are a few other religious Orders that do give Full Monk Status to married persons, but only if they are male).

Women Monastics  

On July 19, 1999, Monk Linda became the First Lady Monk (the first female with Full Monk Status) in the History of Christianity (see: Monk Linda: The First Lady Monk).  

The Knights of Prayer Monastic Order, a Religious Order of The Prayer Foundation , is the first Christian Religious Order to offer Full Monk Status to all of its Oblates (Lay Members), whether men, women, or married persons (see: Become A Monk!; Monk Certificate and Card).

You may ask, "Well, aren't "Nuns" just female Monks?"  No, Nuns are "female monastics."  Among traditional Monastic Orders women have generally been relegated to a "second-class" status.  For instance, in the Roman Catholic Church, women are not allowed to administer communion, hear confessions, or in any way function as ordained ministers (Priests).  When Mother Teresa founded her Order, The Missionary Sisters of Charity, she had to be assigned a Male Priest so that her Sisters could receive these ministrations. 

Women Monks 

In the Roman Catholic Church many Nuns desire full Monk Status (perhaps in fifty years or more they will receive it).  The Catholic Church in common with many Protestant Churches throughout History (notable exceptions would be the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and The Salvation Army) have relegated women to a secondary status  in opposition to the clear teaching of the Bible (see our page: Monk Linda: The First Lady Monk  for illustrations of God's use of women in ministry throughout the Old and New Testaments; including Deborah the Prophetess, and Lydia, the first European Christian...the first Christian Church in Europe met in her house).

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." 

 -Galatians 3:28 

That men and women are equal before Christ is also taught by the Reformation doctrine of the Priesthood of All Believers; that all believers are priests and have direct access to God through Christ.

"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."

-I Peter 2:5

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"  

I Peter 2:9

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."  

-1 Timothy 2:5

The Celtic Christian Church had women in ministry and positions of authority.  Many Celtic Christian "Double Monasteries" (monasteries containing both men and women) were founded and headed by women.  The Celtic Church also recognized married monks.  When portions of the Celtic Christian Church were taken over by the Roman Catholic Church, these Celtic practices were no longer permitted.

You may have noticed that we are unique among all monks in using the term of address "Monk" John instead of "Brother" John.  We do this out of respect for those of our female monks who find the term "Sister" to be not representative of their Full Monk Status because it has historically been used only by Nuns.  Those of our male Monks who prefer the term "Brother" are free to use it, as are our female Monks who wish to use the term "Sister."  We feel that it is the decision of those who are women monks to make (as to what they would like to be called), not ours.   


Related Pages:


                 Copyright 2002 S.G.P. All rights reserved.                



Monk Linda at Kesariani Monastery (Athens, Greece). Monk Linda (Athens, Greece; 2001)

On July 19, 1999: Monk Linda became the First Lady Monk in the history of Christianity.  ______________