Below you will see common questions and answers regarding life at St. Anselm’s Abbey. If you have further questions, please email and we will be happy to speak with you.

Am I expected to have a college degree?

Our general expectation is that our monastic candidates have completed an undergraduate degree, although exceptions to this norm can be made on a case-by-case basis.

What if I have college debt?

The Abbey is able to receive postulants who have limited debt, taken on a case-by-case basis in conversation with the Abbot.

What is the food like and what is your alcohol policy?

We have wonderful cooks who prepare two hearty home-cooked meals a day, which are healthy, balanced, and delicious. The monks generally have cold breakfast, and observe the regular fast and abstinence days in accordance with the Church’s custom and monastic tradition, “so that the strong have something to strive for and the weak have nothing to run from.” (RB 64) Alcohol is available on certain feast days and at informal meal on Sunday, in accordance with the moderation of the Holy Rule. (RB 40)

Do monks take vacation?

We are encouraged to take 2-3 weeks of vacation each year to visit friends and family, under the blessing and permission of the Superior, and are supported with limited travel expenses.

Do monks have friends outside the monastery?

We know that “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17), and our monks traditionally have many healthy friendships over the course of the years with people of all walks of life, both near and far. 

Do you have good medical care?

Our sick monks receive excellent medical attention under the personal care of the Monastic Infirmarian. We have good health insurance, the services of a visiting nurse, regular medical and dental care, and counseling available. At the end of their lives, monks receive hospice care within the walls of their monastery. “Care of the sick must rank above and before all else, so that they may truly be served as Christ, 2 for he said: I was sick and you visited me (Matt 25:36), 3 and, What you did for one of these least brothers you did for me (Matt 25:40).” (RB 36)

Do you grow your own food?

We have a vegetable garden which supplements our meals with fresh fruits and vegetables according to the season.

What type of ministry can a monk do?

While our primary work is the liturgy or Work of God (RB 43), we engage in many other ministries. Traditionally our monks teach either in our secondary school or at a local university; we also help by offering the Sacraments in parishes and convents; serving as chaplains at local Hospitals and Religious Houses; and giving spiritual direction and counsel to our many friends and oblates.

Do monks use the internet and email?

Monks made moderate use of the internet, email, social media, and other electronics. We have a common-sense standard electronic use policy that we agree to abide by, and monks are issued a cell phone, computer, or tablet as needed, although during the initial formation of postulancy and novitiate a monk can expect greater restrictions as he learns to separate himself from his former way of life.

Do you ever visit museums and other cultural sites?

Yes, we are blessed to live in a city with many religious and cultural sites, and our monks regularly visit the local monuments, museums, and other cultural exhibits such as concerts and theater, often with family and friends. We also regularly attend workshops and lectures of a scholarly nature, such as those at the Catholic University of America and the Thomistic Institute at the Dominican House of Studies