Mount Saint Benedict Abbey
Mount Saint Benedict, also known as the Abbey of Our Lady of Exile, is the oldest Benedictine monastery in the Caribbean. Founded in 1912 by Abbot Mayeul de Caigny of the Abbey of San Sebastian in Brazil to escape religious persecution, it is committed to the needs of the surrounding area and the people who inhabit it. Becoming an Abbey in 1947, they celebrated their centenary recently, in 2012. At the moment, the monks are involved in pastoral counseling and outreach, spiritual direction, yogurt production, giving retreats, woodworking, and technical education. Primary in all of this is the continuous rhythm of prayer and praise, for which the monastic community gathers throughout the day. Guests are invited to join the monks in prayer, whether on retreat or not. It is a new site for the Benedictine Volunteer Corps. The first volunteers will be sent in the summer of 2014.
Since Mount Saint Benedict is a new site for us this year, we do not know exactly what work the Benedictine Volunteers will be doing. They may be providing hospitality, doing housekeeping or maintenance, helping with Abbey-sponsored services to the poor in surrounding communities, or assisting in pastoral counseling. The men being sent here are as excited as the Australia volunteers to be pioneers of the Saint John’s Benedictine Volunteer Corps, in the Caribbean.
Those Who Have Served
2014-2015: Alex Forster and Drake Osterhout