Father Arthur’s dedication to Lutheran unity and Christian ecumenism is an important factor that continues to draw people to Oxford and introduces them to a new kind of religious affiliation, often crossing denominational lines. The circle of friends of the community has included people from many different Protestant denominations, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox.
Monks of the Episcopalian monastery of St. Gregory in Three Rivers, Michigan have been friends from the beginning. Contacts with Roman Catholicism were strengthened when the Sylvestrian Benedictine order established a monastery within walking distance of St. Augustine’s House, around 1960. The inspiration and practice of Benedictine monasticism is itself obviously an ecumenical affirmation. Communities following the Rule of St. Benedict share a devotion and lifestyle regardless of ecclesiastical affiliation.
An international element was added in 1965 when word reached Father Arthur about a group of men in Sweden who were establishing a Lutheran Benedictine community. This community had been founded by a group of students in 1960 and had established its first monastery in 1965. Father Arthur soon became an overseas member of that community. It was agreed from the beginning that he would continue to live in the U.S. and that St. Augustine’s House would be a sister community of the Swedish order. Some of the novices of the Congregation of the Servants of Christ have lived with the Swedish monks for periods of time, and the Swedish brothers have made numerous visits to Michigan. This Monastery thrives in Östanbäck, Sweden.
When East Germany became more open to contacts from the rest of the world, a Lutheran monastic community there was revealed. Since 1990 friendly relationships have developed with St. Wigberti monastery in Werningshausen, near Erfurt.