Benedictine monasteries, according to tradition and Canon Law, are autonomous entities. This means that the abbeys and priors of the Benedictine world together make up a Confederation rather than a religious order. The Benedictine Confederation is divided into congregations, mainly on national lines. Our Congregation began as a primitive observance reform movement within the old Italian Cassinese Congregation, becoming the independent Subiaco Congregation in 1872. The movement quickly became international, and we now have over 70 men’s houses throughout Europe, North America, Africa and Australia. In 2013, Pope Benedict XVI approved the merging of the Cassinese and Subiaco Congregations back into one body, now renamed the Subiaco Cassinese Congregation.
At the General Chapter of the congregation on September 22, 2016, the collected abbots and delegates elected Abbot Guillermo Arboleda Tamayo, O.S.B., abbot of the Abbey of Santa Maria of Medellin and Administrator of Guatapè (Colombia) to be the new Abbot President. He succeeds Abbot Bruno Marin who has served as Abbot President of our Congregation since 2004.
Abbot President Guillermo was born in 1956. In 1991 he was elected the Conventual Prior of Santa María de la Epifanía (Guatapè), Rionegro-Antioquia, Colombia, and then elected the community’s first abbot in 1999. Then in 2014 he became administrator of the Abbey of Santa Maria of Medellin, before being postulated the abbot of that community.
The Monastery of the Holy Cross belongs to the English Province, which is presently made up of the following houses
- St. Augustine’s Abbey, Chilworth (1856): 11 monks; formerly at Ramsgate
- St Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough (1895): 6 monks
- St. Mildred’s Priory, Ramsgate: 14 nuns
- Pluscarden Abbey, Moray (1230): 22 monks
- Prinknash Abbey, Gloucestershire (1896): 12 monks
- Monastery of Kristo Buase, Techiman (1989): 9 monks (dependent on Prinknash)
- Monastery of Christ in the Desert, Abiquiu, New Mexico (1964):
- 37 monks
- Monastery of the Holy Cross, Chicago (1988): 9 monks
- St. Mary’s Monastery, Petersham, Massachusetts (1987): 7 monks (dependent on Pluscarden)
- St. Scholastica’s Priory, Petersham, Massachusetts (1981): 13 nuns
- Thien Tam, Kerens, Texas, (dependent on Christ in the Desert)
- Coyoacan Priory, Mexico: 4 nuns
- Monastery of La Soledad, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (1986): 8 monks (dependent on Christ in the Desert)
- Monastery of Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico (1996): 18 monks (dependent on Christ in the Desert)
Germany (ad experimentum)
- Kornelimünster Abbey, Aachen (814): 9 monks