White Robed Monks of St. Benedict

Frequently Asked Questions re Baptism/Confirmation

Why the White Robed Monks of St. Benedict?

The White Robed Monks of St. Benedict (WRMOSB), an independent Catholic jurisdiction not affiliated with the Roman Catholic community, offer you an alternative. Contemporary Catholics are not necessarily interested in finding Catholicism in an institutional place or organization as much as in people. They only search for a non-judgmental, sacramental experience different from that offered by the traditional, institutional church.

The WRMOSB were instituted as an independent Catholic jurisdiction in response to those with specific needs not being met within an institutional church. Specifically, the WRMOSB came into being to serve those experiencing religious and/or spiritual dissonance with an institutional church and those whose spiritual needs an institutional church could not meet. The bishops, priests and deacons of the WRMOSB serve The People by administering and celebrating the sacraments in compassion and love in a non-judgmental way, recalling the maxim Judge not, lest you be judged (Mt 7:1-2).
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What kind of Baptism or Confirmation preparation classes will I need to attend?

There are no classes per se that you need attend. We most strongly advise that you read carefully Baptism: An Inquiry and/or Confirmation. The cleric solemnizing your Baptism and/or Confirmation may hold a conversation with you regarding the content. In conjunction with Baptism or Confirmation, please read and incorporate Being Christ-like: Self-Emptying.If you have any question or need for clarification, please consult with the cleric solemnizing your Baptism and/or Confirmation.

If Confirmation Candidate is 7 years of age or older, then we request Candidate complete and e-mail to the Abbot-Bishop at least 7 days prior to Confirmation date short essays of no more than 600 words (more concise, yet specific, the better) Candidate's response to the each of the following questions c.f. Confirmation:
  1. In what specific ways do you intend to demonstrate in your life the interior power and Gifts of the Holy Spirit, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation?
  2. In what specific ways do you intend to demonstrate in your life the Cardinal Virtues, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation?
  3. In what specific ways do you intend to demonstrate in your life the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation?
  4. Having received the Sacrament of Confirmation, how do you intend to awaken to your true self (identify)?
  5. Having received the Sacrament of Confirmation, how do you intend to be Christ-like, one with the Father?
For Further background and information regarding Confirmation, please refer et On Confirmation.
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Are there any restrictions as to where the ceremony can take place?

In the early church, Baptism took place in the context of the family. The choice of location for your Baptism is yours, as in your own home for example. If you wish a church building, fine as the choice, again is yours, Any church that accepts outside clergy to solemnize a baptism is fine. And outdoor setting is equally apt. It is The Family context that is key and essential. (Given that church (ecclesia means an assembly and acknowledging that the historical Jesus is recorded as saying: Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am in there I am in the midst of you (Matt 18:20), The Church, therefore, is any assembly of The People, a congregation, coming together in the Name of the Lord.)

The history of Confirmation is a bit different, yet, given the connection between Baptism and Confirmation, Confirmation may be held in a place of your choice as noted with Baptism.
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Can we personalize the ceremony in any way?

Please refer to Rite of Baptism and Rite of Confirmationfor our standard rites. We employ the traditional Western Rites with contemporary undertones. Each rite that reflects our own human unfolding in transcending our personal ego, being Christ-like, emphasizing Baptism, A Gate to the Kingdom and Ourself as we awaken to our experience of God
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Is it possible to have a Welcoming/Naming Ceremony without reference to God?

Yes, understanding that no Baptism would take place. Please refer to Welcoming/Naming Ceremony. Please complete Baptism Petition ask asked, adding under Additional Comments a request for Welcoming/Naming Ceremony. List any Guide Parents under Godparents.
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May we interview various officiants and select the one we want?

The selection of an officiant to solemnize your Baptism and/or Confirmation is an element of your preparation for Baptism and/or Confirmation. You select the officiant. What is the basis of selection? Regarding our service to The People of God seeking a Catholic (and/or Spiritual) Presence in their ceremony, the basis becomes simply an ordained cleric in the Catholic tradition. (It is possible to request on the petition form a specific cleric either with whom you have already spoken regarding Baptism/Confirmation or whom you wish to have officiate based upon another's referral or your own previous experience with the cleric.)

Please appreciate that it is not our policy to be placed in an "interview" situation, a somewhat compromising situation. We are not accustomed to be placed in the interview spotlight and to somehow meet the interviewers' unspecified aspirations. Most of us do not know how to behave in such instances as an interview situation is beyond the pale of our experience. Our aim is simply to provide religious/spiritual presence in the person of an ordained (Catholic) cleric with personality, etc. issues aside.

In the Spirit of Compassion once we receive a completed Baptism or Confirmation Petition, we understand that you have agreed to work with us as we agree, as is our intention, to work with and support you in creating and generating the ceremony and ambiance the you desire.
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May we invite another cleric (imam, minister, priest, rabbi) to co-officiate?

Yes, by all means. We will do our best to include another cleric, as you may desire, to the extent that that cleric is comfortable in participating in the Rite of Baptism and/or Confirmation. Being a monastic (Greek. mono = "one"), we appreciate that God by any name is God as God is One. (Mark 12:29) (Please refer to Contemporary and Traditional Monks.)
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My wife/husband is not Catholic, do we have to promise anything about raising the children?

The White Robed Monks of St. Benedict and the Benedictine Network, an ecumenical community, are inclusive, catholic. We encourage you to consider how different religious values and belief systems (or their absence) might impact your spousal relationship and your child. This discussion of religious beliefs and value systems is one such discussion easily overlooked. We ask that you raise your child in a loving and compassionate household and teach him/her by example to love God and one another, the historical Christ's only two commandments. (For a discussion of Catholic/Protestant contrasting value/belief systems, please refer to Christianity: One Reality, Two Perspectives) Please remember it is not one's belief systems that invite issues or conflicts. It is only one's attachment to one's belief system that is the formal cause of so much pain and suffering. Loving God, loving neighbor, we tend to be without attachment to our belief systems.
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What are the requirements of Godparents for Baptism and a Sponsor for Confirmation?

For Baptism, given our monastic (Gk monos = one) appreciation of God (by any name), God-being-one, and our achievement to live out Christ's prayer (Father, may they all be one, as you and I are one, that they may be one is us. John 17:21), At least one Godparent is necessary. A Godparent is welcome from any tradition.

We ask that a Godparent be selected by an adult seeking Baptism or parents for infant who may serve as role model for their Godchild. What are the criteria for modeling? Christ had only two (2) commandments: Love God, Love neighbor.(Matt. 22:37-39) We suggest that a Godparent evidence in his or her own life a love of God - as God Is (and not necessarily believed in per se), and love of neighbor remembering St.Paul's description of Love: Love is patient, love is kind. (One might refer to Loving God and Neighbor by Archbishop James of Novgorod.)

For Confirmation, given above remarks concerning a Godparent, we suggest that a Confirmation Sponsor evidence the Wisdom of Compassion. Wisdom involves recognizing the pain and suffering invited by one's attachment to one's belief system. Wisdom involves recognizing that we humans have killed more of our kind because of our attachment to conflicting belief systems about God. Wisdom recognizes that one's belief about God as nothing to do with God as God, but only as a reflection of one's own projection as to what one considers (wishes, hopes for) God to be. Wisdom involves evidencing in one's life one's experiencing God more so than believing in God. Hence, a Confirmation Sponsor evidences Compassion, recognizing that another is suffering and attempting to do something (perhaps, discerning in the moment the necessity to do nothing as some one us have elected to learn only by suffering) to alleviate that person's suffering.
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Will my Baptism/Confirmation be recognized by the Roman Catholic Church?

The White Robed Monks of St. Benedict, as a distinct Catholic jurisdiction, are not affiliated with the Roman Catholic or any other jurisdiction. We cannot speak, therefore, for any other jurisdiction just as any other jurisdiction cannot speak for us. Through Apostolic Succession with other jurisdictions in the Old Catholic tradition, we celebrate the same seven sacraments as those in the Roman, Orthodox and any other Catholic jurisdiction. Your Baptism/Confirmation will be, given God's Love and Grace and your intention, a sacrament in the eyes of God.
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What is the fee or charge for the WRMOSB sacramental services?

We do not, on principle, maintain fees for our sacramental services (Baptism, Marriage, etc.) Financial donations may be offered to assist in sustaining and furthering our ministry. Money is never an issue as we do not deny the sacraments to anyone. Whatever donation is offered will be gratefully accepted. If a priest/deacon is required to travel great distances to celebrate the sacrament with you, we would appreciate having those traveling costs covered. (If reimbursing officiant for car rental costs, please note there may be $20.00 to $50.00 additional fees not mentioned in advertised or stated quote. Please ask car rental agent what additional fees there may be: tax, drop-off fees, etc. If securing a hotel room for officiant, please pre-pay room cost.) Please make donation payable in the name of the officioating priest or decao. Donations permit The White Robed Monks of St. Benedict to carry out sacramental, charitable and educational missions and activities.
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What is the procedure of requesting a bishop, priest or deacon to officiate at my Baptism and/or Confirmation?

Please complete a Baptism Petition Form and/or Confirmation Petition Form. Upon receipt, we will do our best to accommodate your request. We will contact you shortly (usually within 72 hours) after our receipt of your petition form.
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If you have any further questions, please contact Father Abbot.

May many blessings be to you and yours now and forevermore.

Peace and Joy!

White Robed Monks of St. Benedict

Baptism: An Inquiry
Catholic Spirituality: Presence in Action
Being Christ-like: Self-Emptying

White Robed Monks of St. Benedict
Post Office Box 27536
San Francisco CA 94127-0536 USA
Phone: 415-292-3228
Page URL: http://www.whiterobedmonks.org/faqbc.html
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