The CIvic Friary® is a haven in today’s culturally starved climate of recycled skepticism, offering a refreshing and welcome break for you…a break from today’s hectic, “throw-away culture” of “busy-ness” and activity for activity’s sake…all while providing a new perspective on how prayer undergirds our active work and family life by animating our interior spiritual life. While Civic Friars prepare food to nourish the body, we are ever mindful of the Gospel according to St. John the Evangelist, Chapter Six, where Jesus tells us He is “the Bread of Life.”
The CIvic Friary® is a newly devised Cooking and Food Ministry sponsoring the School of Monastic Cooking™ in Boston, Massachusetts. We are made up of the “Laity,” which comes from the word “laos”—meaning “the called” in ancient Greek—or “the people” as it is understood in a colloquial sense. Lay persons in the Catholic Church are, de-facto, the “rank & file” of her members, i.e., anyone who is not part of the clergy or a non-lay religious order. Yet we are members of the Church, the Body of Christ, as Saint Paul explains:
"For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body."
- 1 Corinthians 12:13
Therefore it is important to note that we’re not “Monastic” simply because of foods commonly associated with monasteries: foods such as breads, jams & preserves, fruits, cheese, ales, wines, cappuccinos and other culinary delights in the finest Monastic traditions. While these foods are indeed part and parcel of the Civic Friary’s designed menu, and although we do not all necessarily live in a community house or monastery, the Civic Friar lives the spirit of monasticism through prayer and Mass attendance—and makes new friends in the process!
In prayer, as a Lay Apostle, the Civic Friar unites himself or herself to the entire Church by praying The Divine Office, also known as the Psalter of “The Liturgy of the Hours.” Other spiritual disciplines prevail as they also revolve primarily around the Liturgy of Holy Mass, since, as Jesus said:
I am the Bread of Life. No one coming to me will ever be hungry again. Those believing in me will never thirst.
- John 6:35
At the Civic Friary, we aspire to be ever more present, sensitive and responsive to God’s voice in our daily lives. Working and praying together, we seek to rediscover the rich heritage of monastic life, especially in the communal preparing and sharing of food through the civility of service to others. In so doing, we strive to offer genuine Christian Hope through Charity that benefits the world community.
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So whether you’re the prayerful type who likes cooking or a foodie who loves to pray, the Civic Friary combines the practical necessities of work in the world with the culinary arts. In this spirit we welcome everyone who desires good food, Catholic camaraderie, and the practical experience of living in God’s presence in the everyday, with a deeper, more authentic life of prayer—praying primarily through the Liturgy of the Hours.
Our community of Lay Apostles draws its purpose and inspiration from the Benedictine motto “Ora et Labora” –– “Pray and Work”: combining the spirit of contemplation with service to our neighbor (starting with fellow members).
From Kitchen to Table, from Seed to Plate, from Farm to
The Civic Friary, We Are Civic-Minded Monks in the Tradition of Prayer!