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Benedictine Monks St. Anselm's Abbey

About Us

Near the north-east boundary of the District of Columbia, twelve minutes by Metro from Union Station and twenty minutes from the Capitol, is a thriving Benedictine monastery. Here, we monks live the life of prayer established by our sixth-century founder St. Benedict and where we continue that life and the aspirations of our founder for the glory of God and the sanctification of our nation and world.

More Details

St. Anselm’s Abbey, located in Washington, DC, is a Benedictine monastery dedicated to living out the Rule of St. Benedict through prayer, work, and community life. Founded in 1923, the abbey provides a spiritual oasis in an urban environment, fostering both contemplative and active ministries.

Ministry Work
Education: The abbey operates a well-regarded middle and high school that instills Benedictine values in its students. The school emphasizes academic excellence, moral development, and spiritual growth, preparing students for lives of service to God and society.

Prayer and Liturgy: The monks gather for communal prayer several times a day, including the Liturgy of the Hours and daily Mass. This structured prayer schedule is central to their monastic life, providing a spiritual foundation for their activities.

Retreats and Guest Hospitality: St. Anselm’s Abbey offers retreats and hospitality to guests seeking spiritual renewal. The serene environment of the abbey, with its secluded woodland setting, provides an ideal space for reflection and prayer. Guests are welcome to join the monks in their daily liturgies and experience the Benedictine rhythm of life.

Oblate Program: The abbey supports a community of oblates, laypeople who seek to live according to Benedictine spirituality in their daily lives. The oblates participate in regular meetings, retreats, and spiritual formation activities, deepening their connection to the monastic community and its values.

Community Outreach: The monks engage in various forms of outreach, including spiritual direction, educational programs, and charitable activities. Their mission is to bring the peace and stability of the monastic tradition to the broader community, fostering spiritual growth and social responsibility.

Daily Life and Mission
The daily life at St. Anselm’s Abbey revolves around the Benedictine principles of "ora et labora" (prayer and work). The monks’ day is structured around communal prayers, personal meditation, and various forms of work. This balance of activities ensures a holistic approach to monastic life, promoting both spiritual and practical skills.

The abbey's mission is rooted in the Benedictine values of stability, obedience, and conversion of life. Stability emphasizes a lifelong commitment to the monastic community, fostering deep relationships and a sense of belonging. Obedience involves listening to God's will as expressed through the Rule of St. Benedict and the guidance of the abbot. Conversion of life is an ongoing process of personal and communal transformation, striving to live out the monastic ideals more fully.

Vision and Goals
St. Anselm’s Abbey aims to be a beacon of Benedictine spirituality in the heart of Washington, DC. By living out their monastic vocation, the monks provide a stable and spiritually enriching environment where individuals can encounter God and grow in their faith. Their educational initiatives, prayer life, and community outreach all reflect their dedication to the teachings of St. Benedict and their mission to serve the Church and society.

The abbey's serene woodland setting, combined with its active engagement in education and hospitality, makes it a unique spiritual and cultural resource in the urban landscape of Washington, DC. The monks’ commitment to prayer, work, and community life ensures that the abbey remains a vibrant center of Benedictine spirituality and a source of inspiration for all who visit.

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Benedictine Monks St. Anselm's Abbey

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