The Contemplative Life Is A Vocation

About the COSJ

Who Are the Contemplatives of Saint Joseph?

The COSJ, a Catholic religious order of men, was founded recently within the Archdiocese of San Francisco.  The priests and brothers of the COSJ lead a life of deep contemplative prayer and serve in an active apostolate within the Archdiocese of San Francisco and surrounding Bay Area dioceses.  We are a Public Clerical Association of the Christian Faithful as decreed by Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco.

The priests and brothers, immersing themselves in contemplative prayer, desire to enter into the kingdom of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  With St. Joseph, they bear about them a prayerful interior silence which aids their daily contemplative and intercessory prayer, as well as helping them to bring the Light of God's love into the active apostolate.

Discerning that it is God who chose them to join the Contemplatives of Saint Joseph, the priests and brothers have the faith and confidence to bear witness to their calling as contemplative souls within the modern world.

The priests and brothers spend significant part of each day in contemplative spiritual practice.  This intense spiritual lifestyle prepares them to become proficient in matters dealing with their active apostolate.


The Importance of the Contemplatives of Saint Joseph within Life of the Church

Why we are committed to our lives of deep prayer and contemplation and expressed in our active apostolate and to the Life of the Church is stated beautifully and profoundly by Pope Paul VI:

“The work of contemplation overflows, benefiting the entire Church.  The Church needs this work of contemplation that it may protect its life and increase its growth.  The Church is in dire need of those who excel in the interior life and are intent upon recollecting themselves in God and be aflame, to their innermost being, with love for heavenly things.  If such persons are lacking, if their lives are withered and weak, it necessarily follows that the strength of the whole Mystical Body of Christ is diminished. Consequently, serious damage would be inflicted on the knowledge of divine realities, theology, sacred preaching, the apostolate, and all the Christian life of the faithful”[Pope Paul VI, to the Cistercians, December 8, 1968].

We believe the contemplative life of a member of the COSJ belongs not to himself alone, but to the Life and Holiness of the whole Church.  The Church's life becomes fuller because the COSJ join themselves by the gift of their whole lives to Christ in prayer and in firmly following the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience.