“We must run and do now what will profit us for eternity. Therefore we intend to establish a school of the Lord’s service.”
Mount Angel Abbey is a Benedictine community founded in 1882 from the Abbey of Engelberg in Switzerland. Situated on a hilltop overlooking Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the monks of Mount Angel weave together a place of prayer, hospitality, education, and reflection deeply rooted in the Rule of St. Benedict. Responding to God’s call to holiness and preferring nothing whatever to Christ, we dedicate ourselves to a life of prayer and work. We strive to support one another in community, to serve God, the Church, and the larger society. We do this as we celebrate the Holy Eucharist together, pray the Liturgy of the Hours five times daily in choir, and devote ourselves to work, reading, and silence.
The Purpose of the Monastery: Seek Things Above
A monastery should be a place on earth that points to heaven. St. Benedict established his monastery as a “school of the Lord’s service” so that its monks could learn the life of Christian charity, for nothing points to God more eloquently than love. The good order of the monastery is meant to reflect the obedience of God’s creation. Its chanting of psalms is an echo of the heavenly choirs of angels and saints, and the hospitality it offers the guest becomes an invitation to come away for a while and set one’s heart on God alone.
The monastic way of life helps people find God even when they didn’t realize they were looking for him.