“Your Superior should not take pleasure in ruling you, but rather in serving you in all charity.”
Brother Robert-Charles Bengry GSmp has been our Prior ever since we were originally established by the Anglican Diocese of Brandon on the Feast of St. Monica 2010. He continues in this role and has led the community into full communion with the Catholic Church within the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. He currently serves as the Lead Parish Assistant at St. John the Evangelist in Calgary.
Brother Robert-Charles was born and raised on the Canadian prairie but lived in Vancouver, Canada for fourteen years. He earned a Bachelor of Design, Diploma of Christian Studies and Master of Divinity. He moved to the Anglican Diocese of Brandon in 2009 when he was called to serve a three point rural parish as their Rector. He founded the Community of Sts. James & John shortly after his move, which has now become the Community of St. Gilbert of Sempringham (GSmp).
In addition to his religious vocation, our Prior is an heraldic artist producing work as a contract artist for the Canadian Heraldic Authority. You can view his work on the following websites: www.rsbengry.com and www.robertbengry.com. You can also view Bro. Robert-Charles Bengry’s twitter account [here].
Brother Robert-Charles took the Religious and Confirmation name “Charles” after St. Charles Borromeo who was known for his reforming efforts.
View Brother Robert-Charles Bengry’s Gilbertine blog [here].
Prior Robert - Chas. Bengry’s Arms
Coats of arms were historically borne by British and European land-holders as marks of distinction and as a means of identification. The adoption of heraldry by the clergy came from similar needs and became more and more popular as a result of their involvement in civil administration. Ecclesiastical heraldry evolved from a means of sealing civil and religious documents to a system for identifying people and dioceses. Today, there is still an opportunity for clergy to use heraldic devices to seal documents, but more often, it is a way for churches and church leaders to give symbolic representation of their beliefs as well as to identify their particular roles in the Church.
Our Prior was granted a coat of arms by the Heraldic Authority of Canada in 2011, as can be seen above. The design includes a crown or ‘coronet’ (every crown ultimately symbolises the kingship of Christ) as well as a ‘voided cross’ which is a symbol of the resurrection. His motto is “Rejoice in Christ”. He was also granted a badge, composed of the cross and crown, which is used by our Gilbertine family on our medal and great seal as a symbol of unity.
The gold and blue in the design recall the Canadian Prairie where Brother Bengry was born and raised and where his ancestors toiled as pioneers. The colours also represent the wheat of the Holy Eucharist and the waters of Holy Baptism; the gold also represents Christ Himself while blue is the traditional colour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The coronet recognises his ancestry and ultimately symbolises the kingship of Christ. The voided cross reminds us of the resurrection and alludes to his primary identity as a Christian. Motto: Meaning “Rejoice in Christ” in Old English.
Per fess Azure and Or, in chief a Loyalist civil coronet and in base a cross couped voided throughout counterchanged. Motto: GEFEOÞ CHRISTES.