Our Way of Life
The Missionary Benedictine Congregation of St. Ottilien is a union of monasteries in which the monks, under the guidance of the Gospel and the Rule of Saint Benedict, seek God and serve humanity in community. The Church has commissioned our Congregation to share her work of preaching to all nations the salvation that Christ promised to those who believe in him. We seek the synthesis of the Benedictine way of life and the missionary vocation. Our Benedictine way of life is permeated by a missionary spirit and our missionary work is marked by a monastic spirit. Learn more about our way of life with our Day in the Life of a Monk video.
Five times a day, we gather in our Chapel in order to praise God for his creation. We give him thanks, but also lament and present to God our needs and the needs of the world.
We start in the morning with the Office of Readings and Lauds. After that we have time for lectio divina, the prayerful reading of the Holy Scriptures. At noon we pray Sext and in the evening Vespers. Our day closes with Compline. For the Liturgy of the Hours we use prayers from Holy Scripture that have been used over and over for more than 2,500 years: the psalms. When we sing them we are united with the whole praying Church.
The celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours has its culmination in the daily Holy Eucharist. Encountering Jesus, listening to his word and receiving his body give us the nourishment we need on our journey.
The prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours and the Eucharist find their extension in all we do throughout the day — in unceasing prayer.
Guests and visitors are welcome to join us for any of the prayer times and in the celebration of the Eucharist!
The word monk derives from the Greek word monachos, which means alone (with God). Monks seek intimacy with God. St. Benedict says that only a few have the strength to live like hermits who live totally by themselves. As “beginners” on the spiritual journey, we need the support of a community. Our brothers are good companions for us as we try to live God’s will, and we in turn support them on their journey.
A Benedictine community is also like a family. We call one another “brother." We share both good days and bad days, celebrating and working together. Our founder St. Benedict was a master of community life. His Rule has proved an ingenious guide for a prospering community life. It teaches us how to forgive, to support, and to respect one other. It shows us how several generations can live under one roof in peace.
The community of Christ the King Priory in Schuyler is part of a larger community of confreres, the Abbey of Muensterschwarzach in Germany, our “mother house." Moreover, we belong to the worldwide network of Missionary Benedictines of the Congregation of St. Ottilien. There are 1,000 monks who seek God and spread the Good News as missionaries around the globe.
Monks have to work for their own living. Work also has a spiritual significance for the monks. St. Benedict says: Work prevents us from becoming idle and lazy; it binds our thoughts and hands and helps us to stay centered on prayer and love.
In the daily life of a community many things are to be accomplished. Besides the daily duties in chapel, house and kitchen, we Missionary Benedictines in Schuyler have dedicated ourselves to three ministries: We provide hospitality at St. Benedict Center, we raise funds and awareness for our worldwide Benedictine network, especially for the poor and underprivileged in Africa, and we help the local Hispanic population with their immigration difficulties. These missions are our modest contribution to the great work of Christ the King establishing the Kingdom of God.