11 August 2018
Saint Meinrad Abby located in southern Indiana is a very large campus with a beautiful cathedral founded in the mid 1800’s by a group of Benedictine monks to support a growing number of German speaking settlers. The abbey is named after a monk who died in 961. The abbey normally has under one hundred monks in residence.
Today it is one of only two Archabbeys in the United States. It also has a seminary school, other students and a guest house for conferences and those who just want to spend time at the abbey. Our guide was a monk who has lived at the abbey for 66 years. He provided a tour of all public spaces in the abbey along with an explanation on how the monks live and work in the abbey. He noted that their primary duties are daily prayers and attending mass 37 times a week. He was very informative and clearly had a sense of humor in responding to various questions.
Monks meeting room
The decorations in the meeting room depict biblical scenes and the history and practices of the monks in times past and present
After the Abby tour we headed to the nearby Monastery of the Immaculate Conception. It was not open for tours when we arrived, so we drove around a bit and discovered a beer hall directly behind the monastery buildings. Since it was open, we headed in to check it out. I was surprised at how busy it was. The beer was good, and our friend had a good time chatting up some of the people at our table. I could not determine how many of the lady’s present might have been nuns.