The primary work of a professed monk is to seek God by following the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict as practiced in this particular Abbey. His main obligations are to prayer and to service of his brothers in the monastic community. Outside the monastery, our monks may do various jobs. Some teach in the abbey’s high school, or work as chaplains in schools, hospitals, prisons, and neighboring convents. Other monks are involved in the operation of the Retreat Center at the Abbey, the tailor shop, kitchen, and the gardens.
As any monastic community, prayer is at the center of the life of a monk. We gather together for common prayer each day to pray the Liturgy of the Hours and celebrate the Eucharist. We meet in the morning for Lauds; at noon for Midday Prayer; and in the afternoon for Vespers. At Vespers we pray before the Blessed Sacrament with a special intention for monastic vocations. The monks also practice lectio divina and other devotions individually.
Work of a Monk
Christ calls every Christian to love and serve others. The call to monastic life flows into the call to service of others for the love of Christ. Saint Benedict, in his Rule, admonished us: “Let the brothers serve one another.” At Mary Mother of the Church Abbey we embrace this call within the confines of the monastery, the local Diocese, and in the universal Church internationally. The monks dedicate their lives to serving God’s people in various ministries, such as the retreat and conference center, the Benedictine High School, hospital chaplancy, parishes, mission outreach to the poor in Africa, and in many other ways.
In the spirit of brotherhood, the monks strives to build a strong sense community. Besides prayer and work, our common life involves dining together, community meetings, serving one another, and recreation. We integrate these practices with simplicity of life, silence, fasting, and hospitality to guests.