A Benedictine Monastery in the Heart of Washington, DC
Near the north-east boundary of the District of Columbia, twelve minutes by Metro from Union Station and twenty minutes from the Capitol, is a thriving Benedictine monastery. Here, we monks live the life of prayer established by our sixth-century founder St. Benedict and where we continue that life and the aspirations of our founder for the glory of God and the sanctification of our nation and world.
Within an urban oasis of 40 acres of secluded woodland surrounding the monastery, the usual sounds of a busy city are subdued. Here, too, stands our highly regarded middle school and high school, where the values of our patrons, St. Benedict and St. Anselm, are proclaimed among our youth as we prepare them for lives of service to God and their fellow human beings.
Some have referred to the abbey as “Washington’s best kept secret”; perhaps this is because monks are not naturally given to the more ostentatious ways of projecting themselves upon the surrounding world. Monasteries are primarily places of prayer and virtuous activity, and our evangelization is precisely through prayer, spiritual direction, and education. We cordially invite you to share our secret. We invite you to “come and see.”
Dear Friends of St. Anselm’s,
With the traditional Sunday Mass obligation coming back into force this weekend, with allowances for those with health problems, etc., we are going to open the abbey church for fellow worshippers at our 9 a.m. Sunday Mass. The archdiocesan guidelines specify that there should still be social distancing of at least three feet unless one is with a group from his/her own household. Since our pews are a bit more than three-feet apart from each other (front to back), we can use all rows. All of the monks have been fully vaccinated, but as some are vulnerable because of underlying health problems, it would be safest if only vaccinated persons attend our Mass in person. Anyone present who is not fully vaccinated should certainly wear a mask, and many others may well prefer to do so. Persons from the nave may again bring up the gifts at the Offertory, the sign of peace would be a bow or a wave (not yet any shaking of hands), and Communion will be only under the species of bread (and preferably received on one’s hand rather than on the tongue). All of our Masses will continue to be live-streamed for those viewing them at home.
Obviously there are still some restrictions during the Mass, and after Mass we will not have coffee or pastry downstairs until the pandemic recedes still further. Nevertheless, this is a step in the right direction. It will be good to have fellow worshippers again present in person at our Sunday Mass!
Sincerely in St. Benedict,
--Abbot James Wiseman, OSB
The Divine Office is restricted to the community and invited guests due to the ongoing pandemic.
Public Masses have resumed on Weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays but some restrictions will continue (please read above letter).
All Masses and Sunday Vespers will continue to be streamed on our YouTube Channel.