The Order of St. Willibrord is a religious order for clergy and laity who wish to commit themselves more deeply to Christ and the Church through the promise of obedience in which one’s secular life is commingled with the religious life of the Order. As such, membership in the Order is directed toward the glory of God through the sanctification of one’s whole life under the Rule of St. Benedict.
The Promise of Obedience
In fact, unlike most religious orders in the Church, the Order of St. Willibrord has three classes of membership acknowledging the ontological and spiritual aspiration for God within various life callings. Thus, the Order understands Christian perfection is open to all of us, ordained and non-ordained, married or celibate. Further, the Order of St. Willibrord does not make a distinction between conventual and so-called "secular" oblates. Aside from Associates, all of the members of the Order are bound together by their promise of obedience, where even those "living in the world" are full members of the Order.
In fact, it is through our obedience that we enter into the religious life of the Order. As our spiritual father, St. Benedict writes in his Rule, “The first step of humility is unhesitating obedience, which comes naturally to those who cherish Christ above all. Because of the holy service they have professed, or because of dread of hell and for the glory of everlasting life, they carry out the superior’s order as promptly as if the command came from God himself. The Lord says of men like this: No sooner did he hear than he obeyed me (Psalm 17 :45); again, he tells teachers: Whoever listens to you, listens to me (Luke 10:16).”
Contemplation, Study and Teaching
Inspired by the Benedictine tradition and the life of St. Willibrord himself, the spirituality of the Order is founded upon a life of contemplation, study and teaching. Further, as “active contemplatives,” the active apostolic life of the Order in teaching requires a life of prayer and scholarship. As a community of scholars, the spirituality of the Order aspires to the contemplation of God as well as the intellectual engagement with the modern world.
Moreover, the three classes of the Order also reflect St. Willibrord's own life, from living in the world, to becoming an oblate, to ordained ministry in the monastic life he chose as a Benedictine.
The Arms of the Order, taken from St. Willibrord's own coat of arms, also provides us with insight to our religious vocation, which is focused on Christ, represented with the Greek Chi Rho cross, and our commitment to the teachings of Christ represented by the white Greek cross and the red background of the shield, which symbolizes our willingness to die for the orthodox faith.