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Benedictine Monks Saint Bede Abbey

About Us

Our primary purpose is simply to seek God by listening carefully to his word throughout our lives and responding to it with obedience and generosity. We seek to achieve the goal of holiness by another path, that of withdrawal into relative solitude and the practice of celibacy to follow a simple and austere way of life that is marked by obedience, silence, humility, simplicity, prayerfulness, work, patience, perseverance in the same community, and fraternal charity.

More Details

St. Bede Abbey, located in Peru, Illinois, is a Benedictine community dedicated to living out the Rule of St. Benedict through prayer, work, and communal life. Established in 1891, St. Bede Abbey has a long history of serving both the spiritual and educational needs of the local community.

Ministry Work
Educational Apostolate: One of the central ministries of St. Bede Abbey is its commitment to education through St. Bede Academy. The academy provides a comprehensive education rooted in the Benedictine tradition, aiming to foster the intellectual, spiritual, and moral development of its students. The monks are actively involved in the school's administration and teaching, ensuring that the values of stability, community, and discipline are integrated into the students' daily lives.

Parish Ministry: The monks of St. Bede Abbey also engage in parish ministry, providing sacramental services, spiritual direction, and pastoral care to the local community. This includes celebrating Mass, hearing confessions, and offering counseling and support to parishioners. The abbey church serves as a spiritual hub for both the monastic community and the wider community, hosting liturgical services and special events.

Hospitality and Retreats: Hospitality is a key aspect of the Benedictine charism, and St. Bede Abbey extends this through its guesthouse and retreat programs. The abbey welcomes individuals and groups seeking a place for spiritual renewal, offering a peaceful environment for prayer, reflection, and rest. Retreatants are invited to participate in the daily liturgical life of the community, joining the monks in prayer and communal activities.

Community Outreach: The monks of St. Bede Abbey are involved in various outreach initiatives aimed at supporting the local community. This includes social services, educational programs, and charitable activities. The abbey's commitment to serving those in need reflects their dedication to living out the Gospel in practical and impactful ways.

Daily Life and Mission
The daily life of the monks at St. Bede Abbey is structured around the Benedictine principle of "ora et labora" (prayer and work). The monks gather for communal prayer several times a day, beginning with early morning vigils and continuing through the day with lauds, midday prayer, vespers, and compline. This rhythm of prayer is complemented by personal prayer and meditation, providing a strong spiritual foundation for their daily activities.

In addition to their liturgical and prayer life, the monks engage in various forms of work, including teaching, administrative duties, maintenance of the abbey grounds, and other forms of manual labor. This balance of prayer and work is central to the Benedictine way of life, fostering a holistic approach to spiritual and personal development.

The mission of St. Bede Abbey is deeply rooted in the Benedictine values of stability, obedience, and conversatio morum (ongoing conversion of life). Stability involves a lifelong commitment to the monastic community, fostering deep relationships and a sense of belonging. Obedience is understood as listening to God's will as expressed through the Rule of St. Benedict, the abbot, and the community. Conversatio morum is the commitment to personal and communal growth, continually striving to live out the monastic ideals more fully.

Vision and Goals
The overarching goal of St. Bede Abbey is to be a beacon of Benedictine spirituality and a source of support and transformation for the local community. By living out their monastic vocation, the monks aim to provide a stable and spiritually enriching environment where individuals can encounter God and grow in their faith. Their work in education, parish ministry, hospitality, and community outreach are all expressions of this mission, aimed at fostering a more just, compassionate, and spiritually grounded society.

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