Spiritual Places #12 St. Meinrad http://www.dennymeyer.me
Saint Meinrad Archabbey is located in Spencer County, Indiana. It was founded by monks from Einsiedeln Abbey (Switzerland) in 1854, and is home to approximately 100 monks. It is one of only two archabbeys in the United States and one of 7 in the world.
The Benedictine community at Saint Meinrad consists of men who dedicate their lives to prayer and work, “ora et labora,” is their slogan. They gather in community five times a day—for morning prayer, Mass, noon prayer, evening prayer and compline—to pray for the Church and the world. Guests are welcome and encouraged join the monks in prayer in the Archabbey Church. Gregorian chant is sung in the canonical hours, primarily in antiphons used to sing the Psalms. They live under the Rule of St. Benedict.
The monks came to southern Indiana at the request of a local priest for assistance in addressing the pastoral needs of the growing German-speaking Catholic population and to prepare local men to be priests. St. Meinrad’s became an abbey in 1870, with Martin Marty (not the Lutheran Church theologian) as abbot. Saint Meinrad’s now operates a graduate school of theology and has many monks in parish work, chaplaincies, and other ministries. The beautiful rolling hills of southern Indiana and the seeming remoteness of the Abbey are a surprise and delight to the senses. Visiting any time of the year is well worth your time. They welcome visitors and a stop at the Abbey Press bookshop may find you buying some monk made cookies or bread – not to mention other crafts made by the monks of the Abbey. Walk out to the little spot near the lake and you will find a bench to meditate and pray. St. Meinrad is truly a spiritual place.