Society of St John the Evangelist, North American Congregation (SSJE)

Introduction to the community

The Society of St John the Evangelist was founded in the parish of Cowley in Oxford, England, by Richard Meux Benson in 1866 and came to Boston in 1870. Brothers minister at the Monastery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, next to Harvard Square, and Emery House, a rural sanctuary in West Newbury, Massachusetts. Brothers offer silence, sanctuary, and spiritual formation. They wrote and live under a contemporary Rule of Life, adopted in 1997, which is available online. At profession, brothers take vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience.

SSJE’s guesthouses and chapel offer hospitality to many for retreats and worship. Most guests come for self-guided retreats. Brothers also lead program retreats and workshops. Everyone is welcome to worship with the Brothers in Cambridge for the Daily Office and daily Eucharist. The schedule is online. Brothers offer their worship, hospitality, preaching, spiritual direction, retreat leading, teaching, written and video resources. Online they share monastic wisdom around the world with Brother Give Us A Word, a daily gift of hope and inspiration (available as a daily email); sermons preached by the Brothers; and five-week formation series with videos and workbooks on prayer, Rule of Life, Gospel of John, worship, and more.

Contact details

617 876 3037

Main house:
The Monastery, 980 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Emery House:
21 Emery Lane, West Newbury, MA 01985, USA
Tel: 617-876-3037

Community information

Date of foundation:

Bishop Visitor: Rt Revd Frank T. Griswold, III



Eldridge Pendleton, On the Kingdom: The life of Charles Chapman Grafton, Society of Saint John the Evangelist, SSJE, 2014.

Serenhedd James, The Cowley Fathers: A History of the English Congregation of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, Canterbury Press 2019

Third Order, Fellowship, Associates

The Fellowship of Saint John is composed of men and women throughout the world who desire to live their Christian life in special association with the Society of Saint John the Evangelist. They have a vital interest in the community and support its life and ministries with their prayers, encouragement and gifts. The Brothers welcome members of the Fellowship as partners in the gospel life, and pray for them by name during Compline, following a regular cycle. Together they form an extended community, a company of friends abiding in Christ and seeking to bear a united witness to him as “the Way, the Truth and the Life”, following the example of the beloved Disciple. For further information, or to join the Fellowship visit


Superior: Brother James Koester SSJE
Assumed office 2016

Deputy Superior: Brother Luke Ditewig SSJE


John Oyama (in Japan)
Jonathan Maury
David Vryhof
Curtis Almquist
Geoffrey Tristram
Jim Woodrum
Nicholas Bartoli
Keith Nelson
Lucas Hall
Sean Glenn
Jack Crowley
Todd Blackham

Novices: 1
Members who have died since the last Yearbook:

17 Aug 2020 – David Allen, aged 90, professed 59 years