From the Vault: St. Benedict’s is Born
On May 31, 1956, an article in The Aspen Times noted plans for what would become St. Benedict’s Monastery. As the article explained, “the Cistercian Monks of the Strict Observance (Trappists) have acquired property in Snowmass where they intend to erect a monastery of their Order. The project is under the direction of the Rt. Rev. M. Edmund Futterer, O.S.C.O., Abbot of Saint Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachussetts. Founded in the eleventh century, stemming from the ancient Order of Saint Benedict, and following his rule, the Cistercians are today one of the few contemplative Orders of men in the Catholic Church. They are strictly enclosed, separated from all apostolic work such as preaching or teaching, and devoted to a life of prayer and penance, of silence and manual labor. Manual labor has always been held in great esteem by the Cistercians and forms an essential part of the lives of both the Choir religious and the lay brothers. Agriculture and the rearing of cattle are the traditional means of support in all Cistercian houses. The group at Snowmass will continue to manage the beef herd on the ranch they have acquired. There are presently twenty-four religious at the new foundation in Snowmass — fourteen lay brothers and ten choir religious, of whom five are priests. They expect to begin construction of the new monastery immediately. In the late fall or early spring they hope to have accommodations for visiting priests or lay men who wish to spend a few days in quiet retirement at the monastery.” The photograph above shows St. Benedict’s Monastery during construction but nearly complete, 1958.
This photo and more can be found in the Aspen Historical Society archives at aspenhistory.org.
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