Please join us in our Prayer for Canada

God our Saviour, we desire to do your will.
Help our Order to plan wisely for our continuing ministry in Canada.
Hear us to discern our path, to find new ways and places to serve, and to live with integrity
so that others will be enabled to share our monastic commitment and values;
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Holy Cross Priory is a monastery of the Order of the Holy Cross, a community founded in 1884 by the Rev. James Otis Sargent Huntington to provide a specifically North American expression of monasticism for Anglicans.

The Priory houses a small community in a Victorian-style home near Toronto’s scenic High Park. Members of the community participate in a daily cycle of prayer, study, and work. We have a number of guest rooms and provide hospitality as well.

Members of the community are available to lead retreats and quiet days at Parishes and other locations. We also offer quiet days, days of prayer, and other programs at the Priory.

The Order has had a ministry in Canada since the 1890′s. Holy Cross Priory was founded in 1973.


from Br. Robert Magliula, Superior, Order of the Holy Cross

Dear Brothers,

In C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, the author, Screwtape, writes to his junior tempter-in-training named Wormwood. He instructs him that his task is to darken the heart, to train “his patient” to love things worldly and reject God by keeping him self-involved and clueless about who he is. He advises him “to keep him spiritual and not practical, as it is the practical that often brings people to God. Encourage him to pray for tangible, desired ends and so direct his prayers to objects and not to God. Allow him to be oversensitive until everything grates on their nerves. Keep his prayers formless, as they are easier to manipulate. Turn his gaze away from God toward himself.”

The aim is to create people who are defined by selfishness and insincerity, pettiness and pride, fear and a need to control. None of us are strangers to the temptations Screwtape offers, pride, vanity, selfishness, and apathy—all flowing from distraction from God’s purpose.

We turn the expansive freedom that is ours in Christ into ideologies of freedom that keep self at the centre. What we conveniently forget, or mightily repress, is the subtlety of distraction. Where there is no realistic acknowledgement of our capacity for self-centeredness and our ability to rationalize whatever we desire, the result is not human flourishing but brokenness. Yet even then, God responds not with justice but with unexpected mercy.

Lent is the time for adopting and practicing the disciplines of prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and study as avenues of loving more fully with heart, mind, and strength. All have within us a yearning to be in union with God. Closeness to God involves conflict and struggle that will lay bare our deepest passion and loyalty. There are many detours on this journey into desire. How we long to be seen, known, and come to that place of abiding. When we are not afraid to enter into our own centre and concentrate on the stirrings of our own soul, we come to know that being alive means being loved.

Lenten penitence engages the dark places of our lives that we may come face to face with them, name them, understand them, and seek forgiveness for them. It is not about guilt. It is about freedom from the control that our fears and insecurities have over us all. It’s about amendment of life and new beginnings.

Br. Robert Magliula



The Annual Chapter Photo 2019, including guests from the men's Anglican Order of St. John the Evangelist (SSJD) in Boston.

Timothy Vickery was recieved by Br. Charles McMulkin, Director of Associates, as an Assoicate of Holy Cross, Canada, on May 24. Tim is a member of the ministry team at Sanctuary Toronto in the downtown core.

As usual in early June, we attended our Annual Chapter (A.G.M.) at Holy Cross Monestary in upstate New York along with members from our two houses in the USA and our African house. We prayed and spent time together; had fruitful discussions about our life together; and participated in a conference titled "Jesus as Sacrificial Victim", led by theologian James Alison. For fun we took a boat cruise up the Hudson River Valley. Fr. L- R: Br. Adrian, Br. David, Prior, and Mrs Suzette Cayles, Companion of the Order of the Holy Cross, wait to board "The Rip Van Winkle".

Br. Christian Swayne was celebrated at the Priory on May 24, the actual date of his Ordination 60 years ago. (His anniversary was recognized at St. James Cathedral in April.) From L-R: Christian's sister and Companion of the Order of the Holy Cross Patricia Brown, Br. Christian, Christian's Brother-in-Law Charlie Brown.

Our Priory community toasted The Rev. Br. Brian Youngward at dinner on May 16 - the anniversary of his Ordination. Br. Brian retired after a lengthy Incumbency at St. Paul's Rexdale, Toronto (among other parish appointments.) He was very much loved and respected at St. Paul's for his pastoral care and practical service.

Br. Brian in the Sanctuary at St. Paul's, Rexdale, Toronto



Our Brother Christian Swayne has celebrated 60 years as a Priest. He was honoured by The Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil, Bishop of Toronto, who presented him with a “60 Year Stole” at the Chrism Service at St. James Cathedral. At that time Br. Christian renewed his vows alongside assembled diocesan clergy, including those also honoured for milestones of service. Here is Br. Christian (third from left) with Bishop Asbil, members of the Toronto Priory, and his sister, Patricia Brown, a Companion of the Order of the Holy Cross.



Holy Cross Priory hosted a retreat, led by The Rev Katy Waugh, for the Catechesis Group at Church of the Redeemer, Toronto. From left to right: Heather Steeves and Lynda Younge in conversation.

Nate Wall and Erika Bauder at Lunch

Karen Visser, Chase McMurren and Susan Graham Walker at lunch.



In the Priory’s Easter newsletter, Br. David Bryan writes:

Jesus’ death was not a final reality. After his resurrection Jesus appeared to his disciples, ate with them, and taught them how to be a holy community. All this mitigated against rational, ordered predictability.

The Jesus movement would become the Christian Church. From a small religious sect of Judaism, it evolved into a world religion and power. Sadly, with a rise in status came abuse, exclusivity, arrogance, and injustice. Yet that is not the whole story. Faithful followers of Jesus showed God’s grace in loving acts of healing, education, art, and care for the poor and the marginalized. The Jesus movement continues despite human sin and failures. The Lord comes in wonderful and unpredictable ways. Lives are changed from brokenness to wholeness and the good news of God’s love is carried out in every age.

God’s victory is love, compassion, and integrity. These shall not be annihilated by our sin and folly.


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