BEGINNING as early as the ninth century in the Christian West, new experiments in religious life began to emerge.

FIRST were the efforts of Chrodegang of Metz to apply elements of community life drawn from the Rule of Benedict to diocesan ministry.  This first experiment at creating "canons" eventually gave way to models that employed the Rule of Augustine, such as the Canons Regular of Premontr founded by St. Norbert

SECOND were attempts to re-introduce the eremitical ideal into the West, such as the Camaldolese, the Order of Grandmont, and the Carthusians.

THIRD were the friars, first the Franciscans, then the Dominicans, who sought to live out the ideals of consecrated life outside a rigid cloister, often in direct service to the People of God.

FOURTH were reforms of the Benedictine ideal which maintained traditional cloister and aimed at greater fidelity to the Rule of Benedict, often with an element of the eremetical: these include the Cistercians, Sylvestrines, and Olivetans


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