The Saint Benedict brotherhoods were founded in 1988, as a variation on the traditional Oblate. Each brotherhood is composed of 10 to 12 members. There are 3 guiding principles:
- “Partnership” i.e. equality, reciprocity and complementarity between the clerical and non-clerical members.
- A meaningful dialogue based on active participation, mutual listening, and respect of the words of others.
- Inspiration form texts selected together (the Rule of St Benedict, Scriptures, and other inspirational works).
Each new application is reviewed by the brotherhood in question. Each brotherhood also determines the frequency of meeting.
Meeting leadership may be taken in turns. There is an annual assembly when all the brotherhoods meet with monastic communities.