Saint Martin's Abbey

Benedictine Institute

“Listen carefully, my child, to your master’s precepts, and incline the ear of your heart.”

So begins the Rule of Saint Benedict, which has shaped the lives of Benedictine monks since the sixth century. For more than 100 years, Saint Martin’s students have been listening “with the ear of their hearts.” And for those many years, Saint Martin’s students have been guided by a set of core values laid out by Saint Benedict in The Rule. Among the values: awareness of God, dignity of work, respect for persons, hospitality, stability, stewardship. Many alumni attribute their success in life to these values, gained through their experiences at Saint Martin’s — experiences defined by the vitality of the monastic community, the welcoming atmosphere of campus, the commitment to excellence in education, and, most significantly, the passion for our Catholic, Benedictine tradition.

Working in collaboration with departments and programs, the Saint Martin’s Benedictine Institute will lead the University in upholding and promoting its Benedictine heritage. Both on campus and off, it will build and enhance awareness of the values that, for so long, have guided the community. As an integral part of University life, the Institute will contribute to the intellectual and spiritual development of Saint Martin’s.

Why the Institute, and why now?

For many Saint Martin’s alumni, campus and classroom life was shaped by a strong monastic presence. Today, the Abbey remains the soul of the campus, but the monastic community is shrinking. Our beloved monks participate in campus life, but very few are able to serve as teachers and administrators as they once did. As with most Catholic institutions, lay leadership is necessary.

How, then, do we make certain that the Benedictine tradition stays foremost a part of our Saint Martin’s identity? The Benedictine Institute will provide that valuable connection to our roots, ensuring that we remain true to our heritage even as the nature of higher education changes. It will be instrumental in the promulgation of our values, supporting within the community a heightened commitment to our mission.

“Many years ago, when our students were surrounded by so many monks, we took for granted what it meant to be a Benedictine institution because it was such a visible part of our everyday lives,” says Father Kilian Malvey, O.S.B. executive director of the Benedictine Institute. “Today, we have to be intentional in how we cultivate our identity. This is a challenge, but it is a wonderful blessing, too. We have before us an opportunity to be more mindful, more attentive to our heritage, and frame our Benedictine values within the context of the modern world.”