St. Peter’s Abbey – Order of Saint Benedict

Abbot’s Welcome

Dear friends,

I welcome you to the community of St. Peter’s, via this web site.

St. Peter’s has been present on the Canadian Prairies for more than 100 years. We have helped this area in Saskatchewan to grow and develop — physically, culturally and spiritually.

With the development of new technology, we are now present on the Internet.

Over the years we have helped the people in this area by staffing more than 30 parishes, by establishing and staffing an excellent high school and college, by publishing a weekly Catholic newspaper (the Prairie Messenger), by running our own farm and, most recently, by setting up a guest house and retreat centre.

Our Roman Catholic lifestyle of prayer and service is inspired by our Christian mission. Our community lives by the Rule of St. Benedict – a rule which has guided Christian communities for more than 1,500 years. St. Benedict’s monks live a life which is inspired by ancient wisdom and is always open to the signs of the times today.

On behalf of the community of St. Peter’s Abbey in Saskatchewan, Canada I
am happy to share with you a glimpse of monastic life in this video.

You will meet many of our monks and see where we live, work and pray.

We follow the Rule of St. Benedict. It was written 1,500 years ago, based
on the Gospel, and it is known for its spirit of moderation. Our life here
provides us time for prayer, work and community life.

St. Peter’s is located in rural Saskatchewan. We welcome guests, workshop
groups and students for St. Peter’s College university classes. Guests and
retreatants find here an oasis for prayer and silence to nourish their
body, soul and spirit and to help refocus their lives.

I invite you to watch this video.

Introduction to Benedictine Life at St. Peter’s Abbey

Abbot Peter Novecosky, OSB

Our Community

St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster, Saskatchewan, Canada is home to 14 Benedictine monks. This includes seven priests and seven brothers.

The Abbot is Fr. Peter Novecosky, the Prior is Br. Basil Schaan and the Subprior is Br. Benedict VanGinkle.

We follow the monastic rule of St. Benedict.  He wrote a rule for Christian life known for its balance and moderation.

This life provides a balance between prayer, work and study.

Traditionally the monastic life has stressed the primacy of the worship of God. The monastic community gathers four times a day for monastic prayer and once a day for Mass. 

Vision Statement

Founded on the Gospel and the monastic tradition of Benedict, we seek to be a caring, fearless community, answering the Spirit’s call to holiness and universal reconciliation.

Mission Statement

We seek to provide prophetic witness through our monastic lifestyle of prayer and work that gives priority to the praise of God.  We embrace service to God’s People through hospitality to guests and, according to our resources, through involvement in parish ministry, education, the press and sustainable agriculture.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions you might have

What is the affiliation of St. Peter’s Abbey with the Roman Catholic Church?

We are a member of the American-Cassinese Congregation that includes 20 abbeys in North America.  St. Peter’s Abbey is a community of 14 monks who have committed themselves to vows of stability, conversion, and obedience.

Founded on the Gospel and the monastic tradition of Benedict, we seek to be a caring, fearless community, answering the Spirit’s call to holiness and universal reconciliation.

We seek to provide prophetic witness through a monastic lifestyle of prayer and work that gives priority to the praise of God.  We embrace service to God’s People through hospitality to guests and, according to our resources, through involvement in parish ministry, education, the press and sustainable agriculture.

We follow the Rule attributed to St. Benedict of Nursia in the early sixth century.  The Benedictine motto “Ora et Labora” (Pray and Work) describes our style of monastic life.  Through prayer a constant awareness of God’s presence is fostered.  As a community, the monks of St. Peter’s gather daily for morning prayer (Lauds) followed by the Eucharist, noon prayer, evening prayer (Vespers), and vigils.

Depending on a person’s abilities and talents, each monk spends part of his day at some suitable occupation.  At St. Peter’s we have undertaken a variety of apostolates and activities.  We have St. Peter’s College affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan; St. Peter’s Press which publishes a weekly Catholic journal, the Prairie Messenger, and does various printing work.  Monks are involved in the upkeep of the abbey property.  As well, monks who have been ordained are involved in parish ministry in nearby communities.  In addition to the above enterprises, we have a guest wing for people in need of rest, spiritual growth and enrichment.

Because of the needs of the Church in a particular area, each monastic community has developed its own spirit and charisma.  Every monastic family, therefore, is open to receiving new members.  In fact, the reception and retention of those who come to live in a particular community is often the most telling sign of whether the life is being lived with fidelity and authenticity.

1,500 years of experience tell us that the Rule of St. Benedict has encapsulated remarkably well the wisdom and gentleness that enable people to live together in relative harmony as they engage in a communal deepening of their search for God and service to God’s people.

What is meant by the Benedictine monastic vows of stabilityconversion, and obedience?

Stability:

By his profession of stability the monk commits himself to perseverance in the monastic community of his profession until death (cf. RB 4:78; Prol 50).  This commitment binds the monk not only to the community of a particular locality but especially to the monastic way of life of that community.  By strengthening the monk’s resolve to remain in loving service of his Lord and his brothers within the concrete circumstances of his own monastic family, such stability fosters his abiding in the love of Christ (cf. Jn 15:10,12).

Conversion:

By his profession of conversion through a monastic way of life (conversatio morum), the monk commits himself to the persevering exercise of monastic discipline and self-denial that school him for growth towards the fullness of love (cf. RB Prol 45-49; 7:67).  The ascetical labour of sharing in Christ’s passion by dying to sin and by leaving unchosen many things of great value for the sake of the Kingdom leads to the life and freedom of the resurrection (cf. RB Prol 50).  This paschal character of the monastic way of life shines forth in the monk’s following of Christ in his poverty and celibate love.

Obedience:

By his profession of obedience the monk seeks to enter more fully into that mystery of loving obedience whereby Christ, fulfilling his Father’s will, laid down his life for all and opened for the future the hope of the resurrection.  Through his listening for and heeding of God’s will as it is mediated to him both by his abbot and by the needs of his brothers, the monk seeks to express the lordship of Christ over his entire life (cf. RB 5:12-13).  It is in this spirit that the monk binds himself to obey his superiors, including the Supreme Pontiff (CIC 590.2), in accordance with the Rule of Saint Benedict and the proper law of the Congregation (CIC 598.1; 601).

St. Peter

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