Old Photos: St. Benedict’s Abbey

These photos were taken in 1955 at the St. Benedict’s Abbey, Atchison, KS.

The Rule of Saint Benedict (Regula Benedicti) is a book of precepts written by St. Benedict of Nursia for monks living communally under the authority of an abbot. Since about the 7th century it has also been adopted by communities of women. During the 1500 years of its existence, it has become the leading guide in Western Christianity for monastic living in community for many Catholic Orders, and in Orthodoxy (since The Great Schism), and the Anglican Church (since the time of the Reformation).
The spirit of St Benedict’s Rule is summed up in the motto of the Benedictine Confederation: pax (“peace”) and the traditional ora et labora (“pray and work”).

Praying hands of monk churchman resting on table during mass at St. Benedicts Abbey.

Praying hands of monk churchman resting on table during mass at St. Benedict's Abbey.

Holy water is sprinkled on praying monks by Father Theodore, the prior of St. Benedicts Abbey, at the days last service.

Holy water is sprinkled on praying monks by Father Theodore, the prior of St. Benedict's Abbey, at the day's last service.

Novices being received into the order at St. Benedict's Abbey where they will prepare to take vows for the priesthood.

Novices being received into the order at St. Benedict's Abbey where they will prepare to take vows for the priesthood.

Priest elevating host and performing other functions of mass at St. Benedicts Abbey.

Priest elevating host and performing other functions of mass at St. Benedict's Abbey.

Monks outside monastery, at St. Benedict's Abbey.

Monks outside monastery, at St. Benedict's Abbey.

Monks praying before meal, at St. Benedict's Abbey.

Monks praying before meal, at St. Benedict's Abbey.

Monks cleaning windows of the monastery's sacristy, two young clerics exemplify St. Benedict's ruling that all be employed in the work, and that then are the monks in truth if they live by the work of their hands.

Monks cleaning windows of the monastery's sacristy, two young clerics exemplify St. Benedict's ruling that all be employed in the work, and that then are the monks in truth if they live by the work of their hands.

Here is the rest of the set and a more contemporary set.

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