Basilian Monks

Has anyone any experience of the Catholic Basilian brothers?

It seems like a really international community, and like much in the Eastern Church, seems to defy the nice neat categories we tend to place on monastic orders in the West (active, contemplative, penitential, hermetical, cenobitic, etc.)

I just did the vocations test on Vision and it suggested these guys or the Trinitarians. I might go post this on the Vocations thread too, but thought it might be good to get an Eastern view on the Basilians too.

While those people who look at Eastern Christianity through a Western prism say that we follow the Basilian rule or are Basilian monks or something similar, this is not the way we look at things ourselves.

Traditionally, in both Orthodoxy and Eastern-Byanzantine Catholicism, one is simply a monk or nun of a given community. The Rule of St. Basil does not have the same prominence that the Rule of St. Benedict does in the West.

Now, while within the unions of Brest and Uzhorod, most communities got turned into the “Order of St. Basil the Great,” and even “Basilians of St. Josaphat,” this was actually a pseudomophosis forced by the Jesuits. Those monasteries who would not subscribe to this reform were simply forbidden to receive any more novices.

Basilian Order Monks

I cannot tell you much about such monks. Dress in cloths like Catolic priests, do not wear kamilavki or such, so are not like Orthodox monks. I have sait for you to look to. If not reading Ukrainian can look at pictures.

sometimes when my parish priest is out we get served by (brazilian) basilians which answers your international question. Sometimes I have thought of joining them, as far as habit goes they usually wear clergy shirts due to heat but I have seen them wearing the cassock with klobuk

edit: I noticed you’re in london which is good for you since that is where the Ukrainian cathedral is and is staffed by Basilians, you can visit them out but should you join you will have to learn Ukrainian (which if you like languages would be pretty fun)

Thanks Tidus, I’m actually in Glasgow now, will have to change my profile, thanks for the reminder. I know of the Ukrainian cathedral in London though. Are the priests there brought over from Ukraine? If so, I guess they get some tuition in English, i.e. they might be able to answer my basic questions without me learning Ukrainian?

Also, are there lay brothers in the OSBM? I don’t know that I’m called to be a priest, am more interested in serving in a lay religious capacity, or as a permanent deacon.

Please be careful when using OSBM. This can also refer to the Sister of St. Basil. One of my best friend’s is a Basilianka and when we write each other or she signs her name, it’s Sr. T, O.S.B.M.:byzsoc:

Yes, in her community, there is a “lay” organization for women:thumbsup:

You have an interest in going to Italy? Grottaferrata has no surviving affiliated branches, as far as I know, but in the old days they were all in Italy. If you really have this vocation I would like to encourage you.

The Basilians one would find in North America are derived from the Slavic monasteries that were removed from their bishops’ control and formed into a western-type congregation. Later, they were put under the control and supervision of the Jesuits for a time, as a ‘reform’ of sorts.

There is also a Latin Order of Basilians from western Europe, no connection whatever to the eastern Orders (historical or otherwise) except that they found it desirable to adopt the rule of St Basil to their own use.

[quote=Hesychios] The Basilians one would find in North America are derived from the Slavic monasteries …

In addition to Slavic OSBMs, there are also the Melkite Basilians (BSO) which has its US motherhouse in Methuen MA.

Thank you for the correction! :slight_smile:

It’s had no idea. :blush:

Perhaps it is a stretch for you, but I have it on good authority that there is a Ukrainian Catholic parish in Edinburgh, Divine Liturgy at 11AM Sunday, and there are Scots in the congregation.

Just thought you’d like to know…

Yeah they are from Ukraine - they should be able to answer any questions - you would most likely learn the language from them themselves over time if you join, I’m not sure about the lay brothers, I would assume yes but you would have to ask them, if you become a deacon you will have a lot more to do during Divine Liturgy and say than the deacons do in the Roman-rite Mass :slight_smile:

cannot tell you much about such monks. Dress in cloths like Catolic priests, do not wear kamilavki or such, so are not like Orthodox monks. I have sait for you to look to. If not reading Ukrainian can look at pictures.

This is not entirely true. Our blessed Metropolitan Andrey was a Basilian and often wore his kamilavka:
Some Basilian monks and bishops do choose to wear the traditional monastic dress, such as Bishop Vasyly (Medvit) of Kyiv.
While certainly no one will deny there were some latinizations especially in the 19th century of the order, the formation of the OSBM in many places also includes now study of traditional Eastern monasticism and especially the history of the Kyiv and Pochaiv lavras.

To all of our Basilian brothers, hiermonks, and sisters working around the world in sometimes difficult mission locations, Многая Літа!

Maybe I missed it. What’s the difference between Basilian monks and “regular” Eastern monks?

We have an order of Basilian priests that is represented in Calgary - is this the same Order, or no? They seem very Latin-rite to me - they are (nominally, at present, although they used to staff the Catholic schools here) a teaching order, and they are assigned to Latin-rite parishes.

What’s the connection to the East? :confused:

Early in church history, monastic houses (contemplative) were not organized into a religious order of any kind, and they were chiefly distinguished by the rule they followed. Each community adapted the rule it chose to suit it’s own purposes, so there could be considerable variation in how this worked on a practical level.

Thus, Augustinians followed the rule of St. Augustine, and Benedictines followed the rule of St. Benedict (Benedicts’ rule is presumed to be largely the work of “the Master” with additions by St. Benedict, the Master is often identified with St. John Cassian). The common name did not imply any other connection. Benedictines are still somewhat internally self governing, although in very recent centuries they have been gathered into a sort of umbrella grouping under the Popes.

In the east, and in some parts of the west, most monastic houses adopted the rule of St. Basil.

In the early church, monastic houses were under the supervision of the local bishop, in much the same way a parish would be. If a new community budded off from an older one, it would fall under the jurisdiction of the local bishop at the new site and sometimes this was far enough away to be a different bishop. The new house would start out with the same customs as the older “mother” house so one would see a lot of “families” of communities which happened to share much in common, they identified with one another and cooperated a great deal but were very much independent of each other.

Later in the west, some houses began to establish subordinate houses, like “branches” which were controlled from the earlier institution, and a type of religious order came into being. The Carthusians and Cistercians are an example of this development, I think Cluny did as well. Eventually, this model of centralized administration was applied to the cathedral Canons in the west and adopted by new active religious orders like the Franciscans and Dominicans. These organizations were able to operate distinctly within the dioceses in which they settled and worked, not necessarily at the behest of the bishop.

In the east, no such developments took place, and the earlier model of monasticism under the direct supervision of the bishop prevailed. In places like Poland, Hungary and elsewhere, after the various local Orthodox churches were incorporated into the Catholic church under the Pope, the monastic congregations (following the Rule of St. Basil) and their properties were removed from the control of the local bishops and organized into the western model religious order.

That is the origin of the Basilian Order which is being discussed here. Later, the Vatican decided to place the Basilian Order operating in Eastern Europe under the control of the Jesuit Order, and it was reformed from a contemplative into a more active role. This meant they were more suited to parish assignments, mission work and teaching along the lines one might expect of the Jesuit community.

It also meant that they were more like a western religious order than eastern monks. In a way, the evolution of these Basilians symbolizes the changes in the Byzantine Catholic churches over time. One should note that the Byzantine Catholic churches are now slowly recovering their ancient traditions and practices, and the Basilian Order, still organized along western lines, seems to be gradually attempting the same.

There is a latin order of St. Basil that is not connected at all to the Ukrainian one, or the melkite one. They is probably what you are running into.

If they are working Latin-rite parishes I would say they are probably not the same.

There were some religious communities organized in France and Spain which use the rule of St. Basil, but are liturgically Latin. There were some in Italy as well, which originated as eastern rite monasteries and converted to the Latin rite later.

The famous Grottaferrata, as I understand it, once went through the same process, but returned to the eastern rite at a later date. I have not been able to confirm this on the internet so I’d say this information has to be taken with a grain of salt. :blush:

Oh, I see. :slight_smile:

So is there an actual “Basilian Order?” Or is it just a name given to the Eastern monks to happen to follow St. Basil’s rule? From what you write, it seems to be the latter.

There is an actual basilian order. It was initially a group of autonomous monastic houses but several hundred years after the union it was reformed into a Jesuit-esque religious (by the jesuits).

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