St. Joseph's Abbey is a monastery of the Catholic Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (O.C.S.O.), popularly known as the "Trappists," located in Spencer, Massachusetts. It is known for its production and marketing of Trappist Preserves, a line of jams and jellies, which partially supports the abbey. On December 10, 2013 the abbey was certified by the International Trappist Association to become the first Trappist brewery in the United States and the first outside Europe.
While the monastery became known internationally as the origin of the centering-prayer movement in Catholicism and Christianity in the 1970s (the movement's leading proponents, Fr. William Meninger, Fr. M. Basil Pennington, and Fr. Thomas Keating, were monks at the monastery), the community still lives from the daily Lectio and deep roots of the monastic life going back to the desert fathers. The abbey community lives a contemplative life, following the Rule of Saint Benedict.
Weekend and week-long directed retreats for men, women, and clergy are available during the year. Normally, retreats are made six months in advance, or on a stand-by basis if there is a cancellation. Visitors are welcome to pray the Psalms with the community throughout the day, - Vigils, Lauds and Mass, None, Vespers, and Compline in the two side chapels in the front of the church. Make Saint Joseph's Abbey part of your personalized Spencer itinerary using our Spencer sightseeing planning tool.
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Saint Joseph's Abbey reviews
When I went into the chapel the first time I was 27 years old and I was feeling desolate, but when I looked up at the crucifix hanging suspended over the altar I knew that Jesus was with with me...
When I went into the chapel the first time I was 27 years old and I was feeling desolate, but when I looked up at the crucifix hanging suspended over the altar I knew that Jesus was with with me... more »
The surrounding scenery made this place so beautiful. It’s a very peaceful place to sit and pray or meditate. When walking inside the chapel, it takes your breath away! One can truly feel the...
The surrounding scenery made this place so beautiful. It’s a very peaceful place to sit and pray or meditate. When walking inside the chapel, it takes your breath away! One can truly feel the... more »
Interesting place to visit. I visited the brewery several years back. It was amazing the things they do on this monastery. It is scenic and peaceful any time of the year. There is a gift shop anyone can stop by to visit.
Enjoyed going to the gift shop after almost 2 years.
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