Meet Our Chaplain

Rev. Br. Raphael

Rev. Br. Raphael Foshay, Ph.D., M.Th., OCCO, Chaplain

In 2018, I retired as Emeritus Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Athabasca University (Canada’s Open University). Several months into retirement I realized that it was not a half-completed book project that needed completion but my earlier attempt at a monastic vocation (4 years an Orthodox monk and 2 years a Benedictine). It took me several years of prayer and reflection to perceive how I could best achieve this goal given my advanced age. My life had in the process become increasingly reclusive and I began to see that a hermit’s life in the world might be a solution. Not long after this, I discovered the Cistercian Order of the Holy Cross and contacted Abbot Oscar Joseph. In October of 2021 (in the midst of Covid) I flew from my home in the Nova Scotia countryside to North Carolina, where the Abbot received my solemn vows and ordained me to the diaconate and the priesthood. In January of 2024, I completed my M.Th. studies in time to receive my degree at the Convocation in early February and accept the role of Chaplain to the OCCO. With immense gratitude I feel God’s hand on my life, guiding me into a deeper walk with him. I extend gratitude also to the OCCO for its very existence and to Abbot Oscar Joseph for his understanding and guidance.