St.Benedict's

 

MONASTERY

 

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR AN OASIS, a place where you can quench your thirst and steady your life, St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado is that place.

 

You will find here a group of very unassuming monks, whose lives, through their writings and personal contact, have deeply touched many lives, including my own.

This is the place where I go to reground myself in faith and prayer, and to be fed, nurtured, and humored by a wonderful group of men who know the meaning of both spirituality and of friendship.

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI

President | Oblate School of Theology

 

The  Madonna of the corral

NEWS FROM SNOWMASS

ATTENTION

No Midnight Mass

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Please note the change in Mass time for Christmas. All are cordially invited to join the monks for the celebration of Christmas Mass at 8:15 a.m. Christmas Day and not at Midnight as has been the previous custom.

The Harvest of 2019

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For more than fifty years growing hay for sale as horse and cattle feed has made a significant contribution to the support of the monastic community.

Gazing out in the early morning light over the mesa hayfields where he has worked as manager of the monastery ranch for 40 years, Brother Raymond Roberts says: “This land has been entrusted to us as a sacred responsibility to work, conserve and protect. Not every year may bring a great harvest, but for me every day here has brought great joy and blessing.”

While the majority of the 1500 acres of cultivated land is flood irrigated by open ditches for cattle pasture, the monastery has 6 dedicated hayfields, each of 40 acres, irrigated by lines of sidewheels, the longest stretching more than ¼ of a mile. In the arid climate conditions of Colorado, the success of the monastery hay harvest depends entirely on water from mountain snow melt.

Following several years of drought and poor harvests, heavy snowfall during the winter of 2018 provided an abundance of water for irrigation this summer. The result was a successful harvest of 330 circular bales weighing a total of 265 tons.

The increased moisture also significantly improved the quality of the monastery pasture land, providing sufficient grass to support 225 grazing cows and their newborn calves from May to October.

Brother Raymond

Fr. Thomas Keating

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On October 25, 2018, after years of faithful service as abbot at St. Benedict's Monastery and founder of the Centering Prayer movement, Fr. Thomas Keating died at our mother house in Spencer, Massachusetts. Fr. Keating touched the lives of so many and this video from Contemplative Journal is a good introduction. Read more.

 

Raising the Roof

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The drought conditions of 2018 and the fire in nearby Basalt drew attention to the condition of the original cedar shake roof of the monastery complex dating from its construction in 1958.

Following a period of consultation and solicitation of bids, Horn Brothers Roofing of Denver was chosen to install a new roof.

During the summer of 2019 a team of eight workers on-site from May to July removed 32,000 square feet of the original roofing and underlay material, and installed 53,760 10’ fire-resistant CeDur polyurethane synthetic shake shingles fitted with new copper flashing and snow retention brackets on reinforced insulation material.

Following the successful completion and county inspection of the roof on July 24, Abbot Charles Albanese expressed the gratitude of the monastic community to friends and benefactors for making it possible to undertake and successfully complete the project.

Thomas Merton's Snowmass

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In 1964, the superior of St. Benedict’s Monastery, Joachim Viens, invited Fr. Thomas Merton of the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky to create an information booklet for those interested in the monastic life. As Merton himself briefly described it, Come to the Mountain was “a meditation on monasticism in its twentieth century context,” composed of five brief chapters focused on its essential qualities and observances.

 

After more than half a century, Merton’s characteristically clear and concise description of monastic life speaks of the ideals, values and principles which it continues to offer today.  “The monk is not so different after all,” Merton writes, “and has a very definite role to play in the modern world.”

Photographers Ferenc Berko and David Hiser provided the illustrations which accompany the text, and preserve a visible record of life at St. Benedict’s Monastery. Although all of the monks who appear at work and prayer have since passed on into the kingdom of god whom they loved and served at St. Benedict’s Monastery, their legacy continues to motivate and inspire those who follow them today. Read more.

St. Benedict's Monastery | 1012 Monastery Road | Snowmass, Colorado 81654

     970/279-4400 | EMAIL librarystben@gmail.com