From the Abbot

Dear brother or sister in Christ,

 Grace and peace be finally yours!

Abbot Michael-John

Rt. Rev. Michael-John OSB, Abbot

In the Rule of St. Benedict, Benedict starts his Prologue with these words: “Listen with the ear of your heart.” I suggest to you that you have been doing just that, but didn’t have the words to express that journey.

There is a wonderful commercial on TV these days about individuals seeking something they have no name for. They just know that something is wrong, something is missing, there is a feeling of not being whole, maybe a sense of emptiness. The commercial ends with a picture of a beautiful starry night and against which appears the answer to their quest. Maybe you have seen the same TV ad and maybe you are getting the same feeling that you may have found the missing part of your quest.

For hundreds of years men and women have been listening to the ear of their heart. They have been faithful members of local parishes, they have participated in formation classes, served on ministry teams, stood with the priest at the altar and yet something is missing.

If the following statements ring true for you:

A deep desire to have union with God,
A craving for prayer and sacrament,
A long felt unnamed desire to feel complete,
A longing for a more contemplative life,
A desire for the sacred and mystical,

maybe you have found your answer and maybe the House of Initia Nova is the place where that journey can start.

If the ear of your heart is telling you something you haven’t heard before and it feels right, chances are, it may be. Enter into prayer, stay there for a while and if the Holy Spirit directs, call or email me.

With blessings of every kind,

Abbot Michael-John

From the Bishop  Companion

Dear Friends, Visitors to the Website of the House of Initia Nova:


Bishop Garrison

The Rt. Rev. J. Michael Garrison, Bishop Companion

GRACE AND PEACE to you from our Savior Jesus Christ.  It is a great personal joy for me to serve as Episcopal Companion for a new expression of Benedictine monasticism and welcome you to this website.  Whether you are merely surfing the web or are interested in the religious life, I pray that God will bless you and sustain you in your journey to the heart of God’s love for this world that Jesus came to save. The House of Initia Nova is unique within the history of Benedictine life, as you will discover in these web pages.  As its name means, this community is about new beginnings.  In thinking about this, some excerpts from a wonderful old hymn come to mind:

New every morning is the love
Our wakening and uprising prove…
New mercies, each returning day,
Hover around us while we pray…
The trivial round, the common task,
Will furnish all we ought to ask;
Room to deny ourselves, a road
To bring us daily nearer God.

I am excited about the development of a monastic community centered in the midst of a large urban area but lived out in virtual reality as well.  This community lifts heavenward the Benedictine ideal of working and praying in all environments and surroundings so that in the midst of the daily, “trivial round” God’s Name may be praised and glorified. I am grateful that the House of Initia Nova community gathers regularly in prayer and extends itself in hospitality to God’s people for our strengthening in service and celebration of God’s presence with us in all we do.

Asking God to bless this new beginning and continue us in grace to seek God’s reconciling love, I remain

Faithfully yours,

J. Michael Garrison