The Carthusian Order

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The Order Today

State of the Order

In 1984 we celebrated the 900th anniversary of the day Master Bruno, our Father, entered the desert of the Chartreuse with his companions, and engaged himself in the path with the help and grace of God that we are still trying to live and follow today.

The uninterrupted existence of our Order transcends the twists of history, a sign of Gods pleasant disposition towards the Order.

Today, there are 19 Charterhouses with approximately 370 monks and 5 Charterhouse with approximately 75 nuns. The latter can be found in France, Italy, and Spain. The homes of the monks are found in Europe, the United States and in South America, where one house is in the early stage of its foundation in Argentina: inception in September 1997. Charterhouses Around the World.

Actually, we hold it very dear to our heart that John-Paul II encourages contemplative orders to establish themselves in communities in the younger church. We are actively pursuing the possibility of the presence of the Order outside of the western world and a presence in Korea has been decided by the last General Chapter of the Order.

Government of the Order

Supreme authority of the Carthusian Order belongs to the General Chapter, which meets every two years at "La Grande Chartreuse", "mother and font of the Order."

During the Chapter, the Definitory, eight monks elected by the priors of the Charterhouses, form an executive branch and "Plenary Assembly" forms the legislative branch. In between the General Chapters, the Order is run by the Prior of La Grande Chartreuse called "Reverend Father", aided by a Council. One last important element of the Carthusian government is the institution of Visitors : every two years, each house is visited by two Fathers, usually priors at other homes.

The Statutes

Bruno was a living model, but he never wrote down monastic rules for his brothers. Bruno and his first successors, « …belonged to the school of the Holy Spirit, letting themselves be forged by experience, elaborated a unique hermitical way of life, transmitted from one generation to another, not by the pen, but by example. »

Statutes I.1

Guigues put to paper the Customs in use at La Grande Chartreuse: it was the first text of Carthusian rule. In time, additions and modifications were made as necessary. We had to adapt to conditions of new times and locations.

Early on, the Carthusian named their Rules of life the Statutes.

After the council of Vatican II, the "Renewed Statutes of the Carthusian Order" were written in 1971 and 1973. IN order for them to be in order with Canon Law in 1983, these statutes were further revised and became the "Statutes of the Carthusian Order", approved by the General Chapter of 1987.

These statutes, a real work of monastic spirituality, are for us the transmission of a voice of prayer. They lead us to contemplation or the "savoring knowledge" of God, to which our lives are entirely consecrated ("Savoring Knowledge" : expression of Guigues II, Carthusian author of the 12th century).

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