Saint Meinrad Archabbey was founded in 1854 by monks from
Einsiedeln Abbey in Switzerland. They came to southern Indiana at
the request of a local priest who was seeking help to serve the
pastoral needs of the growing German-speaking Catholic population
and to prepare local men to be priests.
Both of these missions remain part of Saint Meinrad's ministry
to the Roman Catholic Church, as Saint Meinrad operates a graduate
seminary and school of theology and has more than a score of its
monks in parish work, chaplaincies and diocesan assignments.
The Benedictine community at Saint Meinrad consists of about 95
men who dedicate their lives to prayer and work. They gather in
community five times each day to pray the Liturgy of the Hours and
celebrate Mass. Guests are welcome to join the monks in prayer in
the Archabbey Church.
The monks live by the wisdom and guidance of the Rule of St.
Benedict, the sixth-century instructions for community living
written by St. Benedict.
A few years after settling in Indiana, the Benedictines began
offering high school courses to local youths. In 1861, the monks
expanded their general courses to include undergraduate courses in
philosophy and theology.
Through these programs, the monks of Saint Meinrad began their
mission, which continues today: preparing men for service in the
Catholic Church as priests. The Seminary and School of Theology now
also has education and formation programs for permanent deacons and
lay ministers, as well as a summer liturgical leadership program
for high school youth and their adult leaders.