WHO WE ARE - MISSION STATEMENT
Saint Bede Abbey is a Roman Catholic community of men who live according to a tradition of monastic life that began in the early centuries of Christianity. In the sixth century it was adapted to the needs of the western Church by the Rule of Saint Benedict. By this way of life monks intend to follow the gospel of Christ by serving God, the Church, and their fellow human beings through daily prayer, both communal and private, serious work, renunciation of marriage, possessions, and pleasure, quiet reflection, hospitality, and mutual charity.
Unlike most other religious orders or congregations, the followers of St. Benedict do not constitute a single, centralized body who can be assigned by their superiors to various locations. Rather, each monastery forms an autonomous and permanent community, governed by its own abbot, who is chosen by the monks. Each community is therefore an independent unit that takes root in the locality, and the monks ordinarily remain for life in the monastery of their profession. Our monastery has been here, near Peru, Illinois, in the diocese of Peoria, since 1891, when monks came from the Archabbey of St. Vincent in Latrobe, PA to establish it.
Our primary purpose is simply to seek God by listening carefully to his word throughout our lives and responding to it with obedience and generosity. Unlike the majority of Christians, who follow Christ through marriage, family, and work in secular life, we seek to achieve the same goal of holiness by another path, that of withdrawal into relative solitude and the practice of celibacy to follow a simple and austere way of life that is marked by obedience, silence, humility, simplicity, prayerfulness, work, patience, perseverance in the same community, and fraternal charity.
We wish to contribute to the building up of the local and universal church through bearing witness to Christian values by our way of life and by helping others directly through hospitality, education, pastoral ministry, and other forms of service that are compatible with community life. One of these services is the ownership and operation of St. Bede Academy, a day school for young men and women of the locality in grades 9 through 12.