COME FOR A VISIT, BUT BE CAREFUL
1) The church can be used at full capacity. No masks are needed. Singing is OK. At the eucharist, we will not share the cup or physically pass the peace.
2) The library is open to those who wish to browse and read from books while at the library.
3) Appointments can be made for face-to-face pastoral conferences.
4) Guest bookings for St. Denys guesthouse and St. Benedict’s guesthouse can be made for individuals, households, and social pods. Guests will need to prepare their own meals.
For safety reasons, all visitors aged 12 and over must be fully vaccinated or have immunity from having survived COVID-19.
We hold the world in our hearts, and post sermons and thoughts on our Facebook Public Group.
Saint Gregory’s Abbey is the home of a community of men living under the Rule of Saint Benedict within the Episcopal Church. The center of the monastery’s life is the Abbey Church, where God is worshiped in the daily round of Eucharist, Divine Office, and private prayer.
Also offered to God are the monks’ daily manual work, study and correspondence, ministry to guests, and occasional outside engagements.
St. Gregory’s Abbey is a place where prayer is the work that the members of the community diligently tend to as they hold the whole church and world in prayer. Since my first visit the intentionality and tenderness that this community and place brings to prayer has forever changed my personal understating of prayer, for the better. Time passes differently at St. Gregory’s in a measured pace that is beautifully contrasts the rest of the world and I find myself longing to return to that space and place where life is lived in the echoes of the bells. – Ian Boden, Order of Lutheran Franciscans
I have been coming to St. Gregory’s Abbey for ten years now. I know that the formality and ritual can be off-putting for some, but this is a community of some of the kindest people I know, welcoming to all. They are also very human. Just because they wear medieval robes does not mean they are perfect, or demand perfection in those who visit. A quiet conversation can reveal which monk is a devotee of Marvel comics, and which monk has read every book on Sojourner Truth or attends the Indy 500. Throughout the years these brothers have met me and comforted me through great suffering, and shared in my joys. Just knowing they are holding me, and the world, in their hearts is sustaining. Any of us can wake at 4:00am, full of stress and fear, our thoughts racing as we struggle to return to sleep. But it is a comfort beyond words knowing that already the monks are up praying, caring for the world, loving us in the midst of the darkness. – Anna-Lisa Cox, adjunct faculty of Harvard University
I first came to St. Gregory’s for retreat shortly after I was ordained a deacon. Returning as often as I can has been a vital support for my life of faith. It is such a gift to enter the Abbey Church and be immersed in the daily round of prayer. Doing so rekindled my love of the divine office and helped me to learn anew how to listen. I try to come for a full week each time: it takes a day or two to overcome what Fr. William has called ‘spiritual jetlag’ and enter into the rhythms of prayer, study, and rest. Whether reading in the library or the guest house, walking the trails of the woods, or simply sitting and watching (the cranes, or the cats, or the wild turkeys…), I am so grateful for the re-creation I experience in the refreshment of the hospitality of the community of St. Gregory’s. The other gift in returning has been getting to know other guests, some of whom have become mentors and friends; it is a joy to see others fall in love with the community and its life, and to know that we are truly welcomed for a time. – Matthew Griffin, rector, Church of the Nativity, Hamilton, Ontario
I think one thing that strikes me is prayer life, and praying in community. I have always kept the hours for sometime now. So when I went to Saint Gregory’s that part wasn’t something new. However, praying the psalms, meditating with others was new for me. The daily routine of meeting and being with other living souls as we recite the words of the ancients was exciting for me. That was probably the most important thing for me – it added to my prayer life. There was something very universal and yet private to hear others recite the psalms. – David Gladding-VanDeripe, Fort Wayne, Indiana
St. Gregory’s Abbey is a profound gift to me, to my home community, and to the world. The brothers’ commitment to prayer, work, and study, rooted in a particular place and on behalf of the life of the world, is truly an anchoring presence in my life, calling me back to the wholeness of my inner and outer life. Whether on retreat, visiting for a service, or even just calling to mind the multi-sensory space of the abbey church, I give thanks for the brothers and the space held at St. Gregory’s for storytelling, ritual, and connection that are the foundation of our common work for shalom. – Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma, Head Caretaker at GilChrist Retreat Center and Core Community Member at culture is not optional, Three Rivers, Michigan
God has used St. Gregory’s to touch my life from my first visit as a young teenager in the early 70’s. The newsletters are often timely and uplifting. The holy space created by the stewardship of the Monks that make up the Abbey is a blessing to me and those that I come into contact with. I struggle to mimic a monastic life as I attempt to maintain Holy space in my life. St Gregory’s provides the space and environment for me to sharpen the spiritual tools God so generously provides. – Stan Dellinger, retired from South Carolina Department of Corrections as Captain of Security
Saint Gregory’s Abbey is a spiritual home for me. Since the very beginning of my ministry as a clergyperson, I have taken retreat weeks or days to simply be with God and pray, reflect, and rest at Saint Gregory’s. As a pastor, this community has become a source of spiritual strength and consistency in my life. They have given me the gift to worship, pray, reflect, give thanks, and even grieve when I’m not able to in the parish I serve. I am very thankful for the Abbey and this community of faith. – Matt Landry, Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church of South Bend, Indiana
The pandemic reminded me of lessons I learned from my visits to the abbey over the last 25 years: savoring silence, stability of place, enjoying simple pleasures, living within the current of time and not fighting against it. I thank the monks of St. Gregory’s for making my pandemic experience more bearable. – Lawrence Lee, pastor of Bayfield Presbyterian Church, Bayfield, Wisconsin
I have been visiting St. Gregory’s Abbey since 1991. The monks have been with me through the many joys and chaos of my life. I have learned much: a) You are strong in your weakness, b) Learn to live with the questions, c) Laugh often, d) and when all else fails go for ice cream or pie. I love this community and absolutely support monastic ministry. And what do I love most? – the quiet of the church, the peacefulness that enfolds you as you watch the play of light, the Silence of God. – Ann Gaston, deacon, Episcopal Diocese of Chicago
Joining the monks’ rich liturgical life has greatly enriched my own personal prayer and the Christian life of my household. The abbey is where I learned to pray the canonical hours, and I now pray Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer daily according, whenever possible, to the abbey schedule. My family observes feast days of the Church in ways that are enriched by their observance at the abbey. I have brought Benedictine values into my life as a father and into my classroom at the university where I teach. Particularly, my parenting and teaching are both guided by St. Benedict’s advice to abbots, to lead gently and to “arrange everything that the strong have something to yearn for and the weak nothing to run from.” Finally, the geographically diverse and ecumenical family of the Confraternity has been a great blessing to me in my membership in the Body of Christ and a foretaste of that day when Jesus’s prayer “that all may be one” will be fulfilled. – Christian Casper, lecturer, University of Michigan