ABOUT US
History of the Monastery

 


Replica of the ship on which first three sisters sailed from Bavaria to New York City 1852.

 

Our Vision
We, the sisters of St. Paul's Monastery, are a community who live the Rule of St. Benedict based on Gospel values. Through our liturgical life and wise stewardship, we create sacred space from which we respond to the needs and challenges of church and society.

Our History
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We are 38 Sisters of St. Benedict of St. Paul's Monastery living in community in St. Paul, Minnesota, and following the Rule of St. Benedict who lived in Italy 480-547. In writing his Rule, Benedict combined both old and new forms of monasticism and gave the world a way of life that has been embraced through the centuries by both women and men.

St. Walburga's Abbey, founded in 1035 in Eichstatt, Bavaria, is the seat of numerous convents of Benedictine women around the world. It was from St. Walburga's that three young sisters set sail for America in July, 1852, to teach the daughters of German immigrants: Sisters Benedicta Riepp, Walburga Dietrich and Maura Flieger. They came in response to the invitation of Fr. Boniface Wimmer OSB, to open a small wooden frame school at St. Mary's, Pennsylvania.

 


First priory, 301 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN 1948-65.

 

After a few years at St. Mary's, the sisters traveled up the Mississippi River on a small steamer to St. Cloud to teach the children of pioneers. A short time later they moved to the neighboring town of St. Joseph and opened a school for girls. This was the beginning of St. Benedict's Convent which became the largest Benedictine motherhouse in America. Several dependent and independent houses have been founded from St. Benedict's, of which St. Paul's Monastery is one.

In the summer of 1948, 178 of us left our monastic home at St. Benedict's Convent, St. Joseph, Minnesota to start a new foundation in the inner city of St. Paul. Blessed with many new vocations over the next 17 years, we recognized the need for a larger home. After years of praying and planning, we built a new monastery in Maplewood near Archbishop Murray Memorial High School (now Hill Murray) which we founded and staffed.

Maplewood is a suburb northeast of St. Paul, a half hour's drive from downtown. On January 2, 1965, the sisters moved from Summit Avenue in urban St. Paul to Larpenteur Avenue in the suburbs of St. Paul and again began anew.

 


St. Paul's Monastery, 2675 Larpenteur Ave. E., Maplewood, MN 1965-2009.

 

St. Paul's Monastery, 2675 Benet Road

Maplewood, MN 2009-Present

Working primarily in Minnesota, we engage in a variety of ministries: spiritual direction, retreat work, care of children and the elderly, liturgy, teaching, health care, working with young mothers, faith formation, parish pastoral care, library work, administration and primarily praying.

Our mission continues to flow through our primary sponsored ministries, the Benedictine Center which supports through its programs the spiritual growth of women and men seeking to lead holy lives, and Maple Tree Child Care.

Through these ministries, we daily strive to live out seven clearly defined values core to our identity as Benedictines: community, hospitality, prayer, silence, stewardship, generativity, and social responsibility.

St. Paul's Monastery is a member of the Federation of St. Benedict.

St. Paul's Monastery | 2675 Benet Road | St. Paul, Minnesota 55109 | 651-777-8181 | info@stpaulsmonastery.org
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