Introduction and Mission
We, the monks of Saint John's Abbey, a community of Catholic Benedictine men, seek God through a common life of prayer, study, and work, giving witness to Christ and the Gospel, in service to the church and the world.
Called together by Christ, we support each other under the Rule of Saint Benedict and our abbot. Our life together encourages learning, creativity in the arts and trades, and care for God's creation.
We serve the Church and the wider community through our prayer and work in education, pastoral ministry, the missions, publishing, and in hospitality to people of all faiths.
Monastic Life According to the Rule
The Rule of Saint Benedict envisions a permanent, autonomous community, seeking God, living closely together under an abbot. The monks make common prayer the heart of every day. The love thus generated by preferring nothing whatever to Christ is expressed and shared in generous hospitality and creative accomplishment.
The Saint John's schedule expresses this tradition with Morning Prayer at 7 a.m., Midday Prayer at noon, and Evening Prayer at 7 p.m. Eucharist is celebrated at 5 p.m. daily except on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
About two-thirds of the community live and work at Collegeville. The abbey is located in central Minnesota on 2,400 acres of managed woodland and lakes just off Interstate 94 at exit 156 about 10 miles west of Saint Cloud and 70 miles northwest of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Unlike most other Catholic religious congregations, each Benedictine monastery is autonomous, but the community is grouped juridically into a Congregation according to origin or geographic situation. Benedictine monasteries increase in numbers by starting foundations that later become independent. These Benedictine monastic families — or tribes — unite worldwide in a loose Confederation of Benedictine Monastic Congregations.
Saint John's has a history of leadership in theological, secondary and higher education. The monks have made liturgical development and publications, pastoral ministry and missionary zeal, programs in religion and psychiatry, and ecumenical scholarship their special concerns. Commitment to preservation and promotion of culture is evidenced by establishing the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library and in founding Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). The abbey is especially cognizant of its responsibilities for environmental conservation. In 1989 Saint John's was among the first Catholic institutions to adopt a policy concerning allegations of sexual abuse or exploitation.