About the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross (SCHC)
We are a community of women
called by God
to a life
within our Companionship,
within our faith communities,
and within the whole creation.
The Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross is a diverse community of women who share a commitment to intercessory prayer, thanksgiving and simplicity of life, seeking to live a life of obedience to Christ in the company of others. Connected to one another by the Companion Prayer Chain and Intercession Paper, we focus our prayers on the needs of individuals and families known to Companions around the world as well as on our concerns for justice and peace, the unity of God’s people and the mission of God in the world.
The Aims of the Society
To bind together by thanksgiving, common intercession, and simple rule
those who desire to follow more closely in the steps of our Lord’s most holy life.
To foster the spirit of thankfulness and Christian joy;
To encourage constant prayer for others;
To pray for justice and peace, for the unity of God’s people, and the mission
of God in the world;
To inspire and maintain an earnest effort for simplicity of life and for the
patient, joyous bearing of the cross;
To deepen obedience to our Lord in all aspects of life.
In 1884, Emily Morgan, inspired by her friend Adelyn Howard, envisioned a group of women united in prayer and companion ship. Adelyn, an invalid and confined to bed, wished for a spiritual companionship which would support through prayer those in need and those who minister to those in need. Others were attracted to this project and soon rules and aims were drawn up for the group. An ancient prayer was chosen for their daily use. They met regularly and created the first Intercession Paper that continues to be sent to Companions each month.
Over the next 10 years, the Society grew to more than 100 with chapters in New York, Hartford, Philadelphia, and Boston. Many Companions became associated with Emily’s vacation house project for working women to find rest and nurture. Many became active in the settlement house movement of that time.
In 1914, Adelynrood was built in Byfield, MA and is still, all these years later, the ancestral home of Companions. Each summer Companions come to enjoy community life and to volunteer as hostesses, sacristans, librarians, gardeners and program coordinators or leaders.
Today, there are more than 900 Companions worldwide, with 31 chapters in the USA, Canada and India. An elected Companion- in-Charge, other officers and committees oversee the operations, programs and outreach of the Society.
Companions invite you to visit Adelynrood, their Retreat and Conference Center. Information about events at Adelynrood is available at www.adelynrood.org.
History of the Conference
The Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross has been in the process of expanding its vision to meet current world needs with a focus on social justice and peace, the unity of all people and the mission of God in the world. After more than 125 years of existence, the Society has entered an intentional process of strategizing how to take our charism of prayer through intercession, thanksgiving, and concern for social justice, peace and reconciliation out into the world. The Society hosts summer conferences every year at Adelynrood, their Retreat and Conference Center, which focus on the ways we as Christians grow to embrace prayer from a variety of contexts and how bridges are built between women of different life experiences.
In their 2012 Companion Conference, Companions heard from fellow Companions living in England, India and Israel. They shared experiences of living in cultures other than their own and what was learned about prayer in those experiences. All this has been groundwork for this Spring 2014 Conference. Perhaps the most important catalyst for the mission of the conference is to continue the vision of our founder, Emily Morgan, (Holy Women, Holy Men; Celebrating the Saints, Church Publishing 2010) who wrote in a letter 1896, “…I understand better than before what this great work of intercession might be. How the petitions of the faithful circle the earth, and have circled it in all ages.”