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