to Transform LIves
Beginning in 2003, the Saint John's Benedictine Volunteer Corps has sent over 170 men to 21 Benedictine monasteries around the world to support those communities in their work, prayer and common life. These graduates of Saint John’s University carry with them the values of the Benedictine Tradition they absorbed while students at Saint John's.
Building on the enormous success and long lasting lessons of our first years, with the strong support of our donors, alums of the Corps, and the Saint John’s monastic community, the Benedictine Volunteer Corps has been able to send SJU grads around the globe as volunteers in service of the Church, the Order of Saint Benedict, and the local communities.
The Benedictine Monastery of Tibatí in Bogotá, Colombia is a foundation of Assumption Abbey in Richardton, North Dakota. The principal work of the community is education. The community arrived in Bogotá on August 6, 1960, the same day the city was celebrating its date of foundation (it was founded in 1538). Immediately the monks began preparations to start a school. In February 1961 the school opened its doors.
Saint Mary of Montserrat Abbey in Barcelona, Spain was founded in the 11th century and is pilgrimage site welcoming guests from around the world. In addition to the breathtaking views and architecture of The Basilica, pilgrims are drawn to the miraculous statue of The Black Virgin and the world famous Escolania – the boys’ choir of Montserrat which sings at services daily.
Hanga Abbey provides many services to the surrounding village including medical treatment through the monastery dispensary, daily transportation to the regional capital of Songea through the monastery's bus company-Amani Express, a clean water project pumping water to the village from twelve kilometers away, and education through the two secondary schools, one primary school, and one trade school that the monastery operates.
Part of the Congregation of the Benedictine African Sisters of St. Agnes (founded in 1938 by a Benedictine Missionary of St. Ottilia), St. Gertrud Convent was founded in 1968 and is located in the southwest part of Tanzania. St. Gertrude convent has continued to provide outreach to the local community ever since its founding.
Kappadu, Bangalore, and Kandy
As the sites in Kandy and Bangalore are new, accounts of the life and work of SJBVC volunteers will be added as the volunteers create their new experiences. For these Johnnies, part of the year is spent in Kappadu, where volunteers have been stationed before, and then Kandy, and the final part of the year is spent in Bangalore.
Katibunga Monastery, founded in 1987, is a religious Benedictine Missionary community, the offshoot of the African Benedictines of Hanga Abbey in Tanzania. It is situated about 85 kilometers from Mpika town in Zambia.
Apart from engagement with the Benedictine motto of "Prayer and work," the community has been very aware of and responsive to the real needs of the people who live near the monastery.
Newark, New Jersey
Founded in 1857 by monks from the Abbey of Metten in Bavaria, Newark Abbey is one of the oldest Benedictine monasteries in the United States. The monastery was originally established in Newark to care for the German Catholic immigrants in the area. From its origin, the mission of Newark Abbey has been serving disadvantaged populations through parish work, pastoral outreach, community service, and most extensively, education by operating Saint Benedict's Prep. There currently fourteen professed members of Newark Abbey.
Sant Anselmo in Rome, Italy, is the international house of studies for The Order of Saint Benedict worldwide. Sant’Anselmo in Rome is the center of the Benedictine Confederation. The Benedictine abbots of the world meet every four years her for the Confederation congress. Sant’Anselmo is the seat of the Abbot Primate and it is here that monks sent to Rome reside while teaching or studying at (Collegio Sant’Anselmo) the Benedictine University (Pontificio Ateneo Sant’Anselmo).
Tabgha Monastery is a dependent priory of Dormition Abbey, located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. The mission of the monastery is to be caretakers of the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes and run the retreat house Beit Noah. Roughly five thousand pilgrims visit Tabgha every day during peak season, and overnight guests are welcome to stay in the retreat compound and pray with the monastic community.