Community of St Mary (CSM), Eastern Province

Introduction to the community

The Sisters of St Mary live a vowed life in community, centered on the daily Eucharist and a modified five-fold Divine Office. Each sister has time daily for private prayer and study. Our way of life is a modern expression of traditional monastic practice including silent meals in common, plainchant in English for much of our corporate worship, a distinctive habit, and a measure of enclosure.

Our ministry is an outward expression of our vowed life of poverty, chastity and obedience. The specific nature of our work has changed over the years since Mother Harriet and our first sisters were asked to take charge of the House of Mercy in New York City in 1865. Being “mindful of the needs of others,” as our table blessing says, we have been led in many ways to care for the lost, forgotten and underprivileged. Today our work is primarily prayer, Benedictine hospitality, retreats, and Christian education, a micro-farm in Greenwich, NY, and care of orphans in Malawi. Sisters also go out from time to time to speak in parishes, lead quiet days and provide a praying community alongside the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word (ACNA), Episcopal Diocese of Albany’s Spiritual Life Center, and the Anglican Diocese of Northern Malawi.

CSM(E) Malawi

Contact details

518 692 3028 (Convent); 518 791 4142 (Farm)

Main address:
St Mary’s Convent, 242 Cloister Way, Greenwich, NY 12834-7922

Home of:
St Mary’s Institute for Christian Studies
St Mary’s on-the-Hill Cashmere
St Mary’s Scriptorium

Other house:
Sisters of St Mary, St Mary’s Convent, PO Box 20280, Luwinga, Mzuzu 2, Malawi, South Central Africa

Community information

Date of foundation:

Bishop Visitor:

Mother Superior:

Mother Miriam CSM
Assumed office 31 August 1996 Rt Revd William H Love, Bishop of Albany


Sister Mary Hilary CSM, Ten Decades of Praise, DeKoven Foundation, Racine, WI, 1965. (out of print).
Available online at Project Canterbury

Harriet Starr Cannon, First Mother Superior of the Sisterhood of St. Mary: A Brief Memoir by Morgan Dix.
Available online

There are other historical papers about the Sisterhood of St. Mary at

Third Order, Fellowship, Associates

Associates of the Community of St Mary are Christian men and women, lay and clerical, who undertake a Rule of life and share in the support and fellowship of the Sisters, and of one another, whilst living dedicated and disciplined lives in the world. Any baptized, practicing Christian who feels called to share in the life and prayer of the Community of St Mary as part of our extended family is welcome to inquire about becoming an Associate. Each prospective Associate plans his or her own Rule with the advice of a Sister. An outline is provided covering one’s routine participation in the Eucharist and the Divine Office, private prayer; abstinence and fasting, and charity and witness. Individual vocations and circumstances vary so widely in today’s world that a ‘one size fits all’ Rule is no longer appropriate. The fellowship of Associates is the extended family of the Sisters and an active part of bringing the world to Christ. Contact the Mother Superior for more information.