New Foundations

In 1965 two new monasteries were started from Mount Angel Abbey: Ascension Priory in Idaho, and Our Lady of the Angels Priory in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The next few years also saw the full impact of the Second Vatican Council, and the renewal efforts within the Church were epitomized in the renewal of monastic life, seminary life and the priestly apostolates.
The completed construction in 1960 of Benet Hall, the abbey guest and retreat house, made it possible for the community to enlarge its work of traditional Benedictine hospitality and retreats. A library for the Abbey and seminary, designed by the renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, was dedicated in 1970 after one and a half years of meticulous building.
Abbot Damian's long reign ended in 1974, and the monastic community chose Father Anselm Galvin as its sixth abbot. Because of the insufficient number of students, in 1978 the seminary high school department closed. Abbot Anselm guided the monastic Chapter to move its Ascension Priory from Twin Falls, Idaho, to a new site near Jerome, and to construct a new monastery on the property. In 1980 Abbot Anselm resigned, and as its seventh abbot the community elected Father Bonaventure Zerr. He was dedicated to establishing an outstanding collection of library materials in the new library, not only for the monks and the seminarians, but also for those pursuing scholarly research. More >>