St. Benedict Abbey (Massachusetts)

Abbey chapel dedicated to St. Therese of Liseux

St. Benedict Abbey in Still River, Massachusetts, United States, is a Benedictine monastery with 5 brothers[1][2] and 7 priests[1][3] centered on praying the Divine Office and Latin Mass.[1]


Saint Benedict Center began in 1941 as a student center in an old furniture store in Harvard Square on the corner of Bow and Arrow Streets, just a half a block from the Harvard Yard. It was directly across the street from the Romanesque front porch of St. Paul Church, Cambridge's renowned "university church".

The three original founders were Catherine Goddard Clarke, Avery Dulles (then a Harvard Law student), and Christopher Huntington, a Harvard dean. Catherine Clarke went on to help found the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Avery Dulles entered the Jesuit Order and later became a Cardinal, and Christopher Huntington became a priest on Long Island, New York.

The Saint Benedict Abbey follows the Benedictine Rule and is governed by the Benedictine Confederation.[4]

Canonical recognition

Fr. Leonard Feeney later became the head of the Saint Benedict Center. The center was engaged in controversy with the Church over his interpretation of extra ecclesiam nulla salus (referred to as Feeneyism) which led to a lack of clarity regarding the center's status in the Catholic Church. The community gained canonical recognition as a Pious Union in 1975 and a Benedicine Priory dependent on the Swiss-American Congregation in 1980. The Priory became independent in 1990. In 1993, the Priory became a full-fledged abbey and the monks elected Right Reverend Gabriel Gibbs, O.S.B. as first abbot.[3]

Abbots of St. Benedict Abbey

  1. Right Reverend Gabriel Gibbs, OSB (1993 to 2010)[3]
  2. Right Reverend Xavier Connelly, OSB (2010 to present)[5]


  1. 1 2 3 A Guide to Religious Ministries for Catholic Men and Women, 31st Annual Edition, #MO33
  2. Official Obituary of Br. Benedict Hirsch, accessed 2011-08-10.
  3. 1 2 3 Abbot Gabriel Official Obituary, accessed 2010-11-23.
  4. "Our History". Sisters of Saint Benedict Center, Still River. Retrieved 2008-06-22.
  5. Abbot Xavier Biography; accessed 2011-11-17.

External links

Coordinates: 42°29′12.1″N 71°37′16.0″W / 42.486694°N 71.621111°W / 42.486694; -71.621111

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