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News & Events

Expanded Solar Farm at Saint John's offers Science Lesson

It doesn't look much like a scientific laboratory. But the new rows of solar panels workers are installing in a snowy field overlooking St. John's University will yield valuable research data. The St. John's solar farm already generates about 5 percent of the electricity used by the campus. Once the expansion is complete, on a sunny day, it could produce 30 percent of St. John's energy needs. It also will create an opportunity for experts and students to study and compare two types of solar panels to see which is the most cost effective.

Read the full article at SCTimes.com

Saint John's Football is Like Heaven to Father Wilfred

The monks stood in a long, ominous-looking row along the railing behind the south end zone, all dressed in black and gazing intently on the proceedings at the Natural Bowl. It was the 1950s. It was tradition. It was what monks did on football Saturdays at St. John's University. "In the old days, we used to line up along that pipe, in our black habits," said the Rev. Wilfred Theisen. "Sixty, I suppose, one after the other. "We always stood up there. Even the great scholars of the community would be down there for the games."

Read the full article at SCTimes.com

Amid Insurgency, Iraqi Priest is Guardian Angel of Ancient Manuscripts

Early Aug. 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration, the residents of Qaraqosh woke up to the news that the Kurdish regional forces, known as peshmerga and who had been repelling militant incursions, had packed up and left the city in the dead of night. "The people woke up and realized they had no protection" and they started scrambling to evacuate the city, said Benedictine Fr. Columba Stewart, director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at St. John's Benedictine Abbey in Collegeville, Minn., who has been helping Michaeel with his preservation work since 2009.

Read the full article at NCRonline.org

Cold Spring Priest Shares Faith with Sick, Poor, Dying

COLD SPRING – The Rev. Julius Beckermann speaks slowly, carefully, thoughtfully. But colleagues at Assumption Home and Community in Cold Spring say he brings a warmth and humor to the place. He makes a point of learning all the residents' names. "He's always got a joke to tell," receptionist Alice Jungels said. "And the residents and tenants just love him." "Father Julius has a unique way of being compassionate but also working in humor, brightening anyone's day in the process," said Lindsey Sand, director of community services. "He always has a smile on his face, a story to tell."

Read the full article at SCTimes.com

New Tricks from an 'Old Viking': The Art of Nancy Randall at Saint John's Abbey

Twin Cities artist Nancy Randall takes on life, death and her Norse ancestry in an installation and show at St. John’s Abbey. In a millennium or two, someone may stumble across a Viking helmet half buried in decaying oak leaves on the grounds of St. John’s Abbey at Collegeville, Minn. Then perhaps they will spy another helmet marked with a Celtic knot, a Roman nose plate or a dragon tail. And they may wonder how such warriors arrived at so remote a place. Why did they come? How did they live and die?

Read the full article at StarTribune.com

More News

Community Online

Becoming a Monk

For over 1,500 years, Benedictine monks around the world have followed the teachings of Jesus Christ by choosing to live together under the Rule of Saint Benedict. The monks of Saint John's Abbey follow in the footsteps of this ancient tradition, and invite you to explore our communal life in Christ.



Mass & Liturgy

"It is the liturgy through which, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, ‘the work of our redemption is accomplished’, and it is through the liturgy, especially, that the faithful are enabled to express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church."

Join Us for Prayer


Oblates of Saint John's

An oblate is a Christian who seeks God though a formal relationship with a particular monastic community. Oblates are men or women, lay or ordained, married or single, who seek to integrate the spirit of Saint Benedict in their daily lives.

Oblate Community & Resources


Abbey Volunteering

GARDENING PARTNER: The Abbey gardens are both beautiful and productive. Assist the monks in seasonal vegetable planting and harvesting, or work campus-wide to plant and care for the flowers that help make Saint John's so beautiful.

Volunteer Opportunities

Abbey Volunteering

OFFICE ASSISTANT: The Oblate office, Development office, Cemetery office, and others need volunteers to help keep the Abbey running smoothly, and meeting the ministerial needs of those whom it serves.

Volunteer Opportunities

Abbey Volunteering

PHOTOGRAPHER: Nearly every office and department at Saint John's can use and well appreciate new pictures of the Abbey grounds, buildings, events, and people. Whether you are an expert photographer, or simply enjoy walking the grounds, your shot may be perfect.



Giving & Support

Your gift to our Annual Fund helps ensure a continuation of our abbey’s tradition of service and ministry to the church, a tradition that stretches back to 1856. We invite you to collaborate with us in our important work. Keep our abbey in your prayers, pray for vocations, and consider contributing. Be assured, you will be in our prayers as well.

Give to Saint John's Abbey

Giving & Support

ORGAN RENOVATION AND COMPLETION: After fifty years of use, the Abbey Church organ is in need of renovation, and finally due for completion. Your donation will support the liturgical and devotional needs of Saint John's, as well as liturgical and concert needs of the University’s undergraduate and graduate level liturgical music programs.

Help Renovate the Organ

Giving & Support

VOCATIONS: encouraging monastic vocations is vital to the future of Saint John’s and ensures an ongoing Benedictine presence in the apostolates of the abbey. Your contribution to the abbey’s Annual Fund supports the Vocation Program.

Help Foster Monastic Vocations


Daily Reflection

Fr. Don Talafous, OSB, a monk of Saint John’s Abbey was born in Duluth, MN. He is a former university chaplain and theology professor of Saint John’s University. Among his many talents is the ability to recall the names of hundreds, if not thousands, of alumni when they greet him on campus, in the Minneapolis Skyway, or in some foreign land.

Read Today's Reflection

Liturgy Q&A

This question-and-answer column has appeared in the Visitor, the newspaper of the Diocese of Saint Cloud, since 2009. Rev. Michael Kwatera, O.S.B., monk of Saint John’s Abbey, holds a Ph.D. in theology from the University of Notre Dame. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in liturgy, served as pastor in local parishes, and authored numerous articles and several prayer books.

Liturgy Q&A


The Benedictine Volunteer Corps.

The Benedictine Volunteer Corps of Saint John’s Abbey, exists to provide a year of volunteer service for graduates of Saint John’s University (Minnesota) at a monastery of the worldwide Benedictine confederation and to support the work, prayer and life of Benedictine monasteries around the world.

The Benedictine Volunteer Corps.


Saint John's Abbey Guesthouse

The Benedictine monks of Saint John's Abbey welcome guests of all faiths to experience the abiding presence of God with a praying community.

Saint John's Abbey Guesthouse



In the Benedictine tradition of stability of place and reverence of persons, Saint John’s Alumni and Friends Cemetery provides those who feel a connection to Saint John’s with an option for a final resting place – a place that is meaningful and tranquil, in the midst of the woods and lakes of Saint John’s.

Saint John's Abbey Cemetery