I will appoint over you shepherds after my own heart, who will shepherd you wisely and prudently. (Jer 3:15)



Abbot's Welcome





Abbot: a man chosen to lead the monks in a monastery. An abbot was seen as a man of great learning, a good example to the monks, and a man of great holiness. From the Aramaic Abba meaning "father", abbot is an ecclesiastical title given to the male head of a monastery in various western religious traditions, including Christianity. The female equivalent is abbess.







Greetings Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


May the love of God the Father, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, be upon you. Amen.


Thank you for visiting our web site. The Order of the Most Holy Mary Theotokos represents a diverse expression of what it means to cultivate a spiritual life while living as a Monk or an Associate in the world, in the footsteps of the Holy Virgin Mary. We are a faith-filled family of believers integrating the fundamental principles of contemplative Benedictine spirituality into our modern lives. Like the many different threads, which come together to form a magnificent tapestry, our religious order, while Catholic in the fullest sense, welcomes people from diverse liturgical, theological, denominational and jurisdictional affiliations, as well as cultural backgrounds and ages. The Order consists of two branches:


The First Order Monks (Ascetics) of the Order of the Most Holy Mary Theotokos consists of Brothers and Sisters living individually, in small groups, or with their families, serving God in the world, who profess the three vows that Benedictine Monks take: obedience, stability, and conversion while endeavoring to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in accordance with the Order's Holy Rule of Life.


The Third Order Secular (Associates) of the Order of the Most Holy Mary Theotokos consists of those members who have associated themselves with the Order and wish to participate in some way in the spiritual life of the community in order to enrich their Christian way of life. Associates shape their lives and seek God by striving to become holy in their chosen way of life.


These two religious states are different ways of experiencing a more intimate consecration that has been rooted in Baptism and dedicated to God who is loved above all, following the pathway to complete holiness of life after the pattern of the Holy Theotokos. Working for the sanctification of the world, we commit ourselves to sacred bonds and observe among ourselves the communion and fellowship appropriate to our particular secular way of pursuing the "religious life". Each member of the Community, regardless of religious state, plays a vital part of the life, work, and vision of the Order.


The Order of the Most Holy Mary Theotokos is a small community of believers on a journey to seek spiritual growth and our place in the life of the Church. Many ask what our spirituality is. We are "Benedictines of Mary, Old Catholic Marianists". Marianists who have adopted the the principles, values, and disciplines of Benedictine spirituality, yet also enriched by some of the traditions of the many other religious orders in existence today (i.e., Cistercians, Trappists, Carthusians, Carmelites, Poor Clares, Franciscans, Augustinians, Dominicans, Jesuits, Missionaries of Charity, Sisters of Life, Marians of the Immaculate Conception, etc.). O.SS.T. is a trailblazer, establishing a new spirituality to meet the needs of men and women of the 21st Century.


Christ is among us, every day, in every way. Washed clean in the waters of baptism, we share in his life and love. It is he who calls to us, day in and day out, he who calls us to a closer walk with him. It is Christ who says to us: "Who is there who longs for life?" and also, "Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden . . . for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." What could be sweeter to those of us who call ourselves Christians than the voice of our Lord calling to us? Each day many turn away from the Beloved, drawn from his embrace by the cares of this world.


Listen and listen closely to what the Lord is saying to you this day. This is an invitation from Christ to enter into a journey that will transform and renew those willing to be challenged. Religious life is not for everyone but for those who are called it is a life that is unique beyond all others.


Religious life requires of you all that you hold dear. It will stretch you past your known limitations and give back little that the world considers valuable. Your joy, instead, will be in your struggle and in the knowledge that Christ stands firmly in the midst of that struggle, providing the solid Rock upon which your transformation can occur.


If you are called to a life of prayer, selflessness, discipline, obedience, stability, and conversion of life, then attend with the ear of your heart for you are the one to whom these words are addressed.


It is my prayer that you find the Order of the Most Holy Mary Theotokos to be a place where you can develop your spiritual potential to serve God, his Church, and your fellow human beings.


We hope you find the information found on our web site to be informative, educationally instructional, as well as inspirational!


If, after exploring our web site, you are interested in pursuing a vocation with our extended faith-filled family, we would love to hear from you. We are here to help you in any way we can.


NOTE: The Site Menu may be accessed by clicking on the three (3) small lines in the upper right hand corner of the page. Don't forget, the little down arrows next to some of the menu items indicates a drop down box that will allow you to click on and access additional pages.


May the Blessed Mother of God, the Holy Virgin Mary, the Holy Theotokos, intercede for us before the Lord.


Your Servant in Christ through Mary,


Dom ++Robert, O.SS.T.


Presiding Archbishop-Abbot, Order of the Most Holy Mary Theotokos - "Benedictines of Mary, Old Catholic Marianists"


Metropolitan Archbishop, Archdiocese of the Southeastern States and Missionary Dependencies, The Evangelical Orthodox Old Catholic Church in America.


The motto of the Order of the Most Holy Mary Theotokos,


~ Totus Tuus ~ It means, "Totally Yours"


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Consider the fulfillment of becoming a Priest, Brother, or Sister...


Our small, friendly religious community may be what God has in mind for you.


NOTE: The following is a detailed explanation of the Presiding Archbishop-Abbot's Archiepiscopal Coat of Arms shown above.


The Archiepiscopal Coat of Arms

of

The Most Reverend Doctor Robert Francis Jangro, O.SS.T.


Ecclesiastical heraldry is the tradition of heraldry developed by Christian clergy. Initially used to mark documents, ecclesiastical heraldry evolved as a system for identifying people and dioceses.


The shield is the core of heraldry, but other elements are placed above, below, and around the shield.


The entire composition is called the achievement of arms.


The upper portion of the shield is Red (Gules) and the lower portion is Gold (Or). Red representing the Blood of Christ, symbolic of nobility, boldness, and ferocity and is also the military colour for excellence and fortitude which serves to symbolize Archbishop Jangro’s career as an Army Officer and Civil Servant. Gold symbolizes generosity and elevation of the mind as well as understanding, respect, virtue, and majestic generosity.


The Crosses in the shield serve as dividers, also representing Jesus' death upon the cross as well as His resurrection.


The hat called a galero (or gallero) is a distinctive part of the achievement of a Catholic cleric.


The galero is ornamented with tassels (also termed houppes or fiocchi) indicating the cleric's place in the hierarchy. An archbishop’s galero is green with ten tassels on each side.


Green (Vert) symbolizes hope, joy, and loyalty in love. Academically, it also represents the field of medicine and symbolizes Archbishop Jangro’s Christ-centered healing ministry as a Board-Certified Doctor of Naturopathy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, Pastoral Counselor, and Chaplain.


No image permeates Christian art as the image of the Good Shepherd. Some of the earliest depictions of Christ show Him as the Good Shepherd.


Jesus the good shepherd is referenced in the book of John, chapter 10. In His own words, Jesus tells us in John 10:11: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15: “I am the good shepherd. I know my own sheep, and they know me just as my Father knows me and I know my Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.”


Jesus is the good shepherd to His believers just as the shepherds were of their livestock. A shepherd tended his flock day and night. He would gather the sheep into a sheepfold at night for their protection. The sheepfold was a pen, a cave, or an area backed by stone walls. Since there were no doors, the shepherd would often sleep or sit in the opening, ready to guard his sheep from harm.


Being different than a hired keeper who might run away in the face of danger, the flock belonged to the shepherd who would stay and defend them. He had a genuine loving concern for what belonged to him. In chapter 10, Jesus illustrates how the shepherd cares for his flock, protecting them from weather, thieves, and predatory animals. He loved and shielded them and if necessary, he would lay down his life for them.


Jesus is that loving protector and caretaker for His flock. Ezekiel 34 foretold of the Messiah who would, like a true shepherd, come to caringly keep God’s people. It was a loving message of the coming Christ, the good shepherd.


John 10 tells us how thieves and wolves come to destroy the sheep. But the good shepherd is there to save them. These verses tell us that though Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy God’s people (John 10:10). Jesus is there to protect, love, and save us from destruction giving us eternal life. Jesus came not to merely be the hired keeper but came as the one (the only one), who was and is, completely committed to us – even to His own death and resurrection. Jesus is the good shepherd who laid down His physical life for you and me.


Jesus the good shepherd’s purpose is to give life and protect from destruction. We all have sinned! By our sin, we are lost to the eternal life God has for us. We will not enter heaven if we don’t accept Jesus the good shepherd. Jesus’ blood was shed as payment for our sins. But He was resurrected He lives as our shepherd today!


When we accept this gift, when we believe that He did this for us, we are saved from paying the debt ourselves. Romans 6:23 says: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” John 6 says that Jesus is the true bread from heaven. John 6:33 says, “The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”


The Lamb Cross or Agnus Dei Cross in the upper portion of the shield, portrays a haloed lamb marching from right to left carrying a cross. In Christian iconography, an Agnus Dei is a visual representation of Jesus as a lamb, since the Middle Ages, holding a standard or banner with a cross. This rests on the lamb's shoulder and is held in its right foreleg. The cross has a white banner suspended from it charged with a red cross (similar to St. George's Cross).


Christian doctrine holds that divine Jesus chose to suffer crucifixion at Calvary as a sign of his full obedience to the will of his divine Father, as an "agent and servant of God" as well as to pick up and carry away the sin of the world. In Christian theology the Lamb of God is viewed as foundational and integral to the message of Christianity. The Lamb with the Cross is also symbolic of the resurrected and victorious Good Shepherd.


Academically, it also represents Archbishop Jangro’s position as President of Agnus Dei Theological Seminary, the official seminary of The Evangelical Orthodox Catholic Church in America.


In the center of the banner above the symbol of Jesus the Good Shepherd, the letters INRI depicting the solemnity of Christ the King – King of the Jews.


John 19:19 records, “Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” John 19:20 continues, “Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek.” Today, many times when the cross of Jesus is displayed, the letters INRI are placed on the sign above the cross. In Latin, the text “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS” would have been written, “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum.” Abbreviated, this phrase results in “INRI.” It is unlikely that the letters INRI were truly on the sign that Pilate placed over Jesus’ head, as John 19:20 specifically states that the sign was written in Aramaic, Greek, and Latin.


Although John’s gospel refers to the writing as a “title,” Mark and Matthew both refer to it as an “accusation.” It was customary to set up over the heads of persons crucified the crime for which they suffered, and the name of the sufferer. The accusation on which Jesus had been condemned by Pilate was his claiming to be the King of the Jews. Ironically, the “crime” for which Jesus was crucified is not a crime at all, but an absolutely true statement. Not only is Jesus King of the Jews, He is the King of all – the King of kings and the Lord of lords (Revelation 17:14 and 19:16). He is King over all the universe and all its inhabitants. And it was not any crime of His own that was nailed to the cross it was the crimes (sins) of everyone who would ever put his or her faith in Him for salvation. He has “blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14).


Just as the title King of the Jews was written in three languages, so do those of all nations and languages recognize Him as Savior, as indeed He is of all the elect of God whom He saves from all their sins, by bearing them in His own body on the cross, and of whom He is the able and willing, the perfect and complete, the only and everlasting Savior.


Totus Tuus, is depicted to the left and right on the banner. It means "totally yours" and expresses Archbishop Jangro’s strong Marian devotion and his respect for Saint Louis de Monfort and the Mariology in his works. It is not only an expression of piety, or simply an expression of devotion, it is deeply rooted in the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity. This motto is borrowed from the Marian consecrating prayer as found in the book “True Devotion to Mary” by Saint Louis de Montfort. The complete text of the prayer in Latin is: "Tuus totus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt" ("I am all Yours, and all that I have belongs to You").


The Marian Cross and Crown with Roses in the lower portion of the shield reflects life, service, and devotion as a Good Shepherd and devotion to the beloved Blessed Mother as well as symbolizing Archbishop Jangro’s membership with the Order of the Most Holy Mary Theotokos – “Benedictines of Mary, Old Catholic Marianists”, his position as Founder, and his service as the Presiding Archbishop-Abbot of the Order.


As a Catholic faith religious community, the Order of the Most Holy Mary Theotokos (O.SS.T.) has a great devotion to Mary the Mother of God and is dedicated to promoting devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under her special Orthodox title, the Theotokos. Theotokos in Greek means "God-bearer". The Old Catholic Marianists honor Mary under that title and seeks to live her example of openness to the will of Almighty God and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.


The display of a cross behind the shield is restricted to bishops as a mark of their dignity. The cross of an ordinary bishop has a single horizontal bar or traverse, also known as a Latin cross. The Archiepiscopal Cross behind the shield has two bars instead of one. Such a cross may be borne before him in liturgical processions.


The Archiepiscopal Miter and the Crozier on top of the shield symbolizes Archbishop Jangro’s position as Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese of the Southeastern States and Missionary Dependencies of the Evangelical Orthodox Catholic Church in America to include civil states (boundaries) of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.


The Pallium symbolizes the office of Chief Shepherd and Successor to the Good Shepherd who takes upon His shoulders the sheep of His flock and lays down His life for them.


This Pallium is custom handcrafted of White (Argent) genuine natural-colour Wool symbolizing peace and sincerity, with the tips of the lappets being genuine Black (Sable) Silk, symbolizing constancy. The six crosses are embroidered entirely by Hand with Perle Cotton. The Pallium draped around the shield symbolizes the shepherd's watchfulness, Christian faith, Episcopal jurisdiction, and pastoral authority.


The banner below the shield is Gold (Or) symbolizing generosity and elevation of the mind as well as understanding, respect, virtue, and majestic generosity.


Catholic bishops use a motto in their arms. The motto is a statement of belief. A Bishop’s role is to serve and not to be served. Jesus’ teaching is holistic. His concern is for that holistic service so vital to human welfare. Archbishop Jangro feels the call of God’s Holy Spirit, the excitement of a new vision, and the joyful burden of the responsibility. This is the nature of service and sacrifice…the deepest meaning of diakonia.


Growing in Jesus Christ also includes reflecting the good works of our Good Shepherd. I will appoint over you shepherds after my own heart, who will shepherd you wisely and prudently. (Jer 3:15)


On the banner below the shield is Archbishop Jangro’s Episcopal motto: Your Servant in Christ. The Black (Sable) lettering on the motto banner represents constancy.


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The Great Mystics—men and women of all ages whose lives have embodied profound union with God—insist that the transforming power of Divine Love is available to everyone.

Contemplative prayer is a journey into the heart of God—and into a life radiant with love lavishly shared with others. Answering the contemplative call can lead us to the beauty and splendor of the Divine presence.