Who Are We?

The Community of the Mother of Jesus is a contemporary vowed community of religious women and men who live a common life of prayer and service within the Episcopal Church, its Communion Partners, and the worldwide Anglican Communion. We seek to follow Jesus by imitating the model of discipleship that was lived by Mary, the Mother of Jesus. We are contemplatives who live and work in the world. We observe a common Rule called “Mary’s Way of Discipleship.” Because we do not necessarily live in physical community with one another, we frequently come together to support each other through prayer, study, reflection, service, and recreation. Our mission is to minister to our neighbors who are in need. We also raise our voice to call on society and institutions to share from their abundance with those in need. We welcome all to join us regardless of age, health, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or socio-economic status.

Please explore the rest of the site for more information or contact us through the Join & Support section. Peace and blessing on you, now and always. +

Community Members

Br. Stephen Wetmore, CMJ

Founder and Steward Guardian

Ministry: Br. Stephen works with the homeless and as a caregiver for elderly persons confined to their own homes.

Parish: Episcopal Church of the Atonement, Chicago, Illinois

Saint: St. Aelred of Rievaulx

Marian Title: Our Mother of Perpetual Help

As a gay man and a former Roman Catholic priest, starting a new religious order was the furthest thing from my mind when I was received into the Episcopal Church. I was totally caught off guard while sitting in church one Sunday when I felt a flaming fire in my heart leading me to start this religious community. It took five years of much prayer, discernment, dialogue and work for the Community of the Mother of Jesus to be inaugurated on 1 April 2011. Being part of a community in honor of the Mother of Jesus, and having as our mission to serve the neighbors who are in need helps me to be more faithful to my baptismal promises. I love our unique vows of Justice, Tenderness, Humility, and Contemplation. They call me to be a loving servant of others. 

Br. Terry Lee Ashby, Jr. CMJ

Ministry: Br. Terry tends to the needs of four homeless people near his workplace. Normally, it can be monetary help and a chat, but they may need other assistance on any given day.

Parish: Episcopal Church of the Atonement, Chicago, Illinois

Saint: St. Peregrine

Marian Title: Our Lady of Mercy

As a child, I always had a strong faith in God and prayed to him in "conversations." As I grew and took a more formal approach to religion, my faith stayed strong. I had an opportunity to live as a cloistered monk for two weeks at Three Rivers Abbey in Michigan. I loved the prayer life but knew there must be a way to combine this with the world at large. While attending Church of the Atonement in Chicago, I learned about the emerging Community of the Mother of Jesus and felt it was the answer I had been waiting for -- A welcoming community that would combine a life of prayer while being present to the neighbor in the world.

Br. William White, CMJ

Steward of Service, Vicar pro tempore

Parish: Episcopal Church of the Atonement, Chicago, Illinois

Saint: St. Teresa of Ávila

Marian Title: Madonna Della Strada

My faith experience have been many; from being baptized in the Presbyterian Church, confirmed in the Lutheran Church, and involved as a cantor and lay minister within the Catholic Church. Eventually my journey would lead me to The Episcopal Church where I again heard the call to something deeper. As I discovered religious communities within the Anglican Communion, I felt a sincere stirring in my heart. Our call to love and service from our baptismal vows echo again and again in all healthy relationships and here, in the Community of the Mother of Jesus, I see a passionate yearning for a relationship with God, and to learn how that feeds our service to one another. Our vows of justice, tenderness, humility, and contemplation become the lenses we use to view the world around us and ourselves. The more I study and share about these vows, the more they become rooted within my heart and manifest in my life. This community of seekers holds and enables one another to fulfill God's promise of love and compassion poured out for all of His creation. 

Br. Jonathan Wheat, CMJ,

Steward of Study, Vocation Director

Ministry: Br. Jonathan supervises food services at a children's center and provides job-training services and nutrition counseling to homeless mothers at an in-patient treatment facility. 

Parish: Church of the Ascension, Chicago, Illinois

Saint: St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Marian Title: Our Lady of Solitude

Having been in monastic religious life for seven years during the 1990s, I was surprised to find that I still had a longing for it after all these years. I had discovered a renewal of devotion after being received into The Episcopal church and was happy to find religious communities within the Anglican Communion. Having worked in social service agencies for much of my career, the Community of the Mother of Jesus with its charism of service to the poor seemed a natural fit. Praying the Rosary again after all these years was so refreshing, especially within The Episcopal Church that had renewed and nurtured my spiritual life. Praying the Daily Office with collects and prayers from the Book of Common Prayer is a practice I find truly enriching. I realize now that my vocation is on that has been tested over a long period of time, but has resulted in one that is true, honest, and joyous. 

Br. Gregory Peebles, CMJ

Steward of Prayer

Ministry: In addition to being the Community’s Steward of Prayer, Br. Gregory is also a commissioned Stephen Minister, a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA), and a Certified Dementia Professional (CDP), providing and coordinating services for older adults and others with special needs in his Chicago community.

Parish: Episcopal Church of the Atonement, Chicago, Illinois

Saint: St. Uriel

Marian Title: Mater Dolorosa

Where once I struggled to conquer the world through sheer will-to-power, I offer now Our Lady of Cana my humblest self. “Be it unto me according to your word” is a hard prayer to live for someone like me, though I can say I’ve never been happier than since I left personal narrative behind in favor of being open to God’s messengers when they break into my day. I make sense of the sometimes jarring messages I receive—both literal and metaphorical, the intersection of which I find utterly compelling—as best I am able. My faith journey has been hard-won, and some days, I confess in the hopes that it gives the reader comfort, I still lose. To hold space for God’s plan to unfold in my life as God pleases instead of trying to re-write it in such a way where I am always the hero of my own story continues to be my spiritual discipline on days faith-full or faithless. 

Br. Jason LaFollette, CMJ

Ministry: Br. Jason volunteers with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, working in the diversity effort and to help increase safety on our waterways.

Parish: The Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Knoxville, Tennessee

Saint: St. Kunigunde

Marian Title: Our Lady of the Snows

When I was in college, I felt God calling me to a vocation.  I spoke with the priest at the chapel on campus and he gave me probably the wisest advice anyone has ever gave me: “If you feel God is calling you to the priesthood, RUN!  If it catches up with you, you know it’s the right thing to do.”  It never caught up with me, but there was always this nagging in my mind that God had a plan for me.  Years later at an Education for Ministry group, our lesson was about contemplation in which many modern monastics were in the world instead of cloistered.  I looked up Episcopal Orders and I had my biggest "a-ha" moment ever.  This was that nagging voice!  After some thoughtful investigation, I found the Community of the Mother of Jesus. Having spent years in the Roman Catholic Church, this community with its devotion to Mary and the Rosary was so much more what I was called to.  And each day as a Brother of the CMJ has been more fulfilling than the next.  Sometimes God’s paths are circuitous, but we always get where we’re meant to be.  

Br. Ricky Joe Cook, cmj

(Second-year Novice)

Parish: St. James Episcopal Church, Tigard, Oregon

I was born with a visual impairment and have slowly gone totally blind. From an early age, my grandmother encouraged me not to let my blindness hold me back from accomplishing things in life. She told me that she believed that God had a plan for me and being blind was part of that plan. I’ve felt a deep spirituality ever since I was in my young teens and explored many different religions and ways to God which has deepened my spirituality. I feel that God has sent people into my life who’ve played a significant role in my walk with the mother of Jesus, and Christ, her son. When I read the community’s vows for justice, tenderness, humility and contemplation, I knew that I wanted to live out these vows and to be a loving servant to others and to be the hands that Mary and her Son can use to help others.

Br. Derrick Zeller, cmj

(Second-year Novice)

Parish: Grace Church in the Mountains (Episcopal), Waynesville, North Carolina

I was baptized as an infant in a United Methodist church which I attended until I was ten when my family became members of a Southern Baptist church. Although I'd always believed in God, it was at this time I had a personal encounter with Jesus the Christ. Even as my beliefs have changed since then, I'll always hold these early experiences dear to my heart. I was a dedicated parishioner of my Baptist church until I was nineteen when God saw fit to lead me to the Episcopal Church. I fell in love with it and eventually brought my wonderful husband, John, into the Church as well. For the past few years I've felt the call to a deeper spiritual life which lead me to Br. Stephen and CMJ. I was immediately drawn to this community, especially its emphasis on helping the poor, as well as its devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for me with the Community of the Mother of Jesus. 

Br. Robert Dylan Stewart, cmj

(Second-year Novice)

Ministry: Dylan volunteers his time serving with the Mission to Seafarers in the Port of Halifax. The Mission to Seafarers is a global Anglican non-profit organization and has been a part of the port of Halifax since WWII serving the needs of Seafarers who come and go on these great waters. As a former chaplaincy intern, and now ship visitor, Dylan’s interest truly is a ministry of presence to those who go down to the sea in ships. Dylan is also a Lay Minister (Lay Reader and Eucharistic Minister) at the Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax, and a Registered Massage Therapist. 

Parish: Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

I was raised in a Southern Baptist tradition in a rural coastal community in Nova Scotia, Canada. When I was a teenager, I came out as gay and was shunned from my church family. At that point, I felt I could no longer be a Christian. I was lost in the proverbial wilderness for ten years before finding the Anglican Church. After finding my way, I have had a deeper calling to serve as Christ served and have since started the process towards ordination. The one constant for me during the wilderness was the Rosary and I feel Mother Mary never gave up praying for me. Because of this, I have been lead to this Community. I feel this is where I need to be in life. I am happy to have found a place that will foster my growth and hope we can grow together. 

The Community of the Mother of Jesus
cmjreligious@gmail.com 

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