Portraits of Benedictine Peace & Community

Portraits of Benedictine Peace & Community

Portraits of Benedictine Peace and Community illustrates how the monks of Mount Angel Abbey live and share the spiritual richness of their monastic life with all who come. Peace and community are integral to the centuries-old monastic Rule of St. Benedict, built around a rhythm of prayer and work. At Mount Angel, the monks cultivate this life with intention and respect for the hilltop on which they dwell.

The video seeks to convey the “touchpoints,” the many places and ways in which all who come can interact and be enriched by the spirituality and traditions of Mount Angel Abbey.

Immerse yourself in the rich and poetic text, narrated by Abbot Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B., and enjoy the beautiful photography and music evocative of the monastic tradition of St. Benedict, as lived at Mount Angel since 1882. Listen here to Abbot Jeremy describe the meaning of Portraits of Benedictine Peace and Community and why monks must live “on the edge” of the world … but not over it.

Title: Paradisus claustri
Artist: Br. Isaiah Vargas O.S.B.
Canvas: 30 L x 20 H
Acrylic paint + modeling paste + brushes + palette knife

This painting of the cloister garden at Mount Angel Abbey was inspired by the springtime beauty and the grace of our Lord’s resurrection, visible as I walked through the cloister garden. The vivid colors and the life flowing from nature at this time really moved me to try and capture that moment. The trees also deeply inspired me, especially the birch tree, with its beautifully textured white bark. The colors and textures that day were begging to be captured and enjoyed, from this beautiful garden given to us by the Lord. The original hangs in the monastery cloister at Mount Angel.

– Br. Isaiah

Full size giclee prints of Paradisus claustri are available for purchase. The prints are on cold-press fine art textured paper, 30 L x 20 H image size, with an additional one inch white border around the image. Prints are signed by the artist, Br. Isaiah, O.S.B., and are mailed with a Certificate of Authenticity.


The “Touchpoints” of Mount Angel Abbey

Mount Angel Abbey has a number of “touchpoints” or gateways outside the cloister for encountering and sharing the rich ways of Benedictine monastic life as it is lived by the monks. Each touchpoint offers programs and places for guests and students to gather in a context of hospitality, peace, and stability, characteristic of the Benedictine way of life for over 1,500 years.

Benedictine Oblates of Mount Angel Abbey

Oblates of Saint Benedict are Christians who have experienced in some way a call to embrace Benedictine spirituality. Mount Angel oblates are united to the prayer and good works of the monastery while they continueto live out their Christian vocation in the world.

Mount Angel Seminary

Founded in 1889, Mount Angel Seminary’s primary purpose is the human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation of men for the Roman Catholic priesthood. It has educated thousands of diocesan and religious clergy for service in the Church, especially in the western United States.

Saint Benedict Guesthouse & Retreat Center

The guesthouse offers all guests the peace of Christ through various retreats each year in Christianspirituality and human culture. It also provides opportunities for individuals who wish to stay in an atmosphere conducive to meditation, recollection and prayer.

Mount Angel Library

The Abbey library, designed by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto and completed in 1970, contains over 250,000 volumes from various fields of study, especially theology, philosophy, and the humanities.

The architecture of the building itself invites silence, contemplation, and dialogue with great thinkers.

Benedictine Brewery & Taproom

Overlooking the Willamette Valley, the Benedictine Brewery provides a popular gathering place for local residents, travelers, and guests who wish to enjoy conversation and life together over a variety of beers handcrafted by the monks.

St. Mary Parish in Mt. Angel

Founded in 1881, St. Mary Parish is a vibrant community that serves 1,182 households and 3,871 individuals coming from 26 zip codes around the Willamette Valley. Monks from Mount Angel have been the pastors of this parish community from the time of their arrival in 1882.

Abbey Bookstore & Coffeehouse

A rich variety of books and devotional articles are available at the Abbey’s bookstore, some of which are featured according to season. Cafe-style seating is available for guests who want carefully brewed coffee with their reading or a place toenjoy conversation with friends.

Life Lived Abundantly (video)
Benedictine Wisdom from Mount Angel Abbey.

Life Lived Abundantly is an in-depth presentation of the Benedictine life of the monks of Mount Angel Abbey seen through the lens of what Abbot Jeremy Driscoll calls, the “Seven Rich Ways.” These rich ways of the Benedictine monastic charism are not simply for the monks themselves but are offered as a gift to the Church, the world, and you. Abbot Jeremy says that “the effects of such living are powerful, humanizing, an antidote to the turmoil, confusion, and the extreme divisions we experience in our society today.”

Life Lived Abundantly is available for viewing on this page and also on Mount Angel’s YouTube channel. We pray that these rich ways of our Benedictine monastic life will enrich the lives of you and your loved ones.

Rich Ways of Prayer

In addition to daily Mass, the monks gather for the public celebration and chanting of the Divine Office five times each day, called together by the ringing of the bell tower. This work of God (Opus Dei), to which St. Benedict assigns supreme importance, shows the Church always at prayer, seeking communion with God and keeping it alive in the heart throughout the course of the day.

Rich Ways of Life Together

The Rule of St. Benedict outlines habits and attitudes that monks ought to cultivate toward each other with humility and charity, “each trying to be the first to show respect for the other” (RB 72). In this, they model a way of living that can enrich the lives of all people.

Rich Ways of Deep Reading

Monks spend several hours each day engaging in slow, prayerful reading of the Scriptures and various other subjects. This disciplined practice, traditionally known as lectio divina, enacts their commitment to hearken to the revelatory power of the written and incarnate Word.

Rich Ways of Hospitality

St. Benedict tells his monks that “all guests who arrive shall be received as Christ” (RB 53). This spiritual intuition, that Christ himself is present in the person of the guest, undergirds the monastery’s unconditional welcome of all guests and its reverence for them.

Rich Ways of Centering on the Eucharist

Monastic life is centered on the daily celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy and draws its life from it. The monks are committed to celebrating the liturgy beautifully and reverently, so that the visible signs may help serve a deeper, active participation in the invisible mysteries of God.

Rich Ways of Promoting Arts and Culture

Praying and pondering the Christian mysteries, the monks of Mount Angel nurture and promote a transformative way of seeing humanity through the arts and the cultivation of a culture centered on the good news of Christ.

Rich Ways of Caring for the Land and Environment

The monks make a vow of stability to a particular community in a particular place. This continually prompts their commitment to stewardship of the portion of God’s creation entrusted to them.

Questions? Please email us or call 503.845.3030.
Thank you!