What is a Benedictine Monk?
Saint John's Abbey is a monastic community of Catholic men who are seeking God through a life following the teachings of Jesus Christ and rooted in the Rule of Saint Benedict.
Saint John's Abbey carries on the spirit of the first Christian community, committed to the communal life, to the breaking of our daily bread at altar and table, and to times of public and private prayer. From these rich fountains flow the creative and varied work we do with exultation and sincerity of heart.
Glory of God
Our daily prayer and service to the world is our response to the many blessings we have received. Humbly recognizing this unequal exchange, our ordinary life becomes an extraordinary witness to God's glory. A reminder for the Saint John's community of this witness are the yellow brick letters IOGD placed into the west tower of the original abbey building, in omnibus glorificetur Deus "that in all things God may be glorified."
The way of Saint Benedict draws individuals into a communal way of monastic life. Each novice is asked, "What do you seek?" and replies, "The mercy of God and fellowship in this community. His own search for God now occurs in the midst of this brothers in this monastery, as he blends his own insights and experience into the shared life at Saint John's In helping others to bear their burdens, he in turn receives the "help of many brothers."
Benedictines commit themselves for life to three vows that define our monastic vocation: stability in community, conversion through a monastic way of life and obedience. Monastic stability means that a monk belongs to Saint John's Abbey. He casts his lot with this particular group of brothers for his spiritual and material needs; he shares the community's work and joins his future to that of the monastery. The vow of conversion embraces the essential aspects of monastic Christianity: dedication to prayer, celibacy, sharing of material goods in community, a life of simplicity. Benedictine obedience is willingness to live according to the guidance of the Rule, steady listening to the teaching of the abbot, and attentiveness to one's brothers in community.