Hospitality is one of the paramount injunctions of Saint Benedict in his rule for monks.  He says that visitors are never lacking so he supplies us with a well choreographed ritual for the reception guests.  This included a formal welcoming both physically and spiritually and even included washing the guests’ feet because of the distances they had to travel on dusty roads.  Of course that was also a sign of humility because Our Lord’s act of washing the feet of the apostles which was usually relegated to servants.  Jesus came to serve and not to be served.

 

Another of St. Benedict’s directives concerning the guests is that they eat with the abbot, which would necessitate a special kitchen and dining room.

This would free the rest of the community to eat in their own dining room and follow the very detailed prescriptions for dining while listening to the required readings.

 

Beside praying with the guests and briefly reading from Sacred Scripture for their instruction, the guests were to eat with the superior or a deputed brother, which afforded an opportunity to further inform them of the divine law.

 

For over 50 years we monks have been receiving guests.  They range from the causal and curious visitors to those which chose to spend an extended time of prayer on a retreat. Although we no longer wash the feet of guests, we still seek to share our knowledge and experience of the divine, while humbly offering all the other services of hospitality.

 

The electronic age has greatly amplified, if not changed, the whole concept of hospitality.  As we learn the drawbacks and dangers of the digital age we also stand on the threshold of a revolution in sharing and exploring an increasing number of fields on every level of human existence.  And because the human person is inextricably bound with the divine, we are constantly being invited into a deeper union with, and a more fruitful service to, our brothers and sisters who seek entrance into their inner monastery.

 

So, by means of this website, we monks hope to hold a perpetual "open house" where the dust of your journey may be humbly, but thoroughly, removed and where you may be refreshed and fortified on your spiritual adventure.

Who we are

Prince of Peace Abbey has been closely involved with Oceanside since it was founded in 1958. It is a Benedictine monastery of 23 monks who live and work on the site high atop Benet Hill. The religious order to which it belongs can be traced back to its founder, Saint Benedict, who was born in 480 AD. All monasteries in the Roman Catholic Church are founded from other monastic houses.  Prince of Peace Abbey was founded from a monastery in Southern Indiana, which in turn was founded from one in Switzerland.

 

The community of men at Prince of Peace Abbey live a life of work and prayer. One of our ministries is to operate a retreat house, conduct days of recollection, give spiritual direction and provide a place of peace for people to come to pray. Our library and gift shop provide books and other spiritual materials to assist guests in their quest for finding the Lord. The abbey fully supports the Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church and is a member of the Benedictine Swiss-American Federation. We rely on the generous donations of our visitors and retreatants for financial support, since we do not take up a "Sunday collection" at Mass.

 

Our monastery is not a parish. Baptisms, Confirmations, Weddings and Funerals are performed at one's parish. The priests of the monastery assist the diocesan parishes by offering Masses, hearing Confessions and giving Missions and Days of Recollection to the parishioners. In addition to the above, we have been actively involved in providing assistance to the poor.

 

How we live

The monks, who take a vow of stability, which means that we will be at our monastery until we die, all have various duties which contribute to the maintenance of the 130 acre facility. However, the main purpose of our lives is to pray.

 

Our daily functions

The monastic day begins with daily 4:45 AM rising and 5:30 morning prayer in the abbey church. That is followed by a sung prayer service at 7:00 AM. Breakfast is eaten in silence while the other two meals are accompanied by reading from Sacred Scripture and other edifying literature. Evening prayer daily at 5:00 PM & 8:00 PM. The high point of the day is the sacred liturgy (Mass) at 11:00 AM. On Sundays the Mass is at 10:30 AM. Mass and all the other prayer services are open to the public.

More photos of our monastery