Douai Abbey

Douai Abbey
Under the patronage of St Edmund, King & Martyr
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DOUAI ABBEY is home to a community of monks of the English Benedictine Congregation. The monastery is under the patronage of St Edmund, King & Martyr, and was founded in Paris in 1615. Uprooted by the French Revolution it settled at Douai in Flanders. After more political turmoil the monastic community finally returned to England in 1903, settling at Woolhampton in Berkshire, at the invitation of the Bishop of Portsmouth.

Until 1999 the community ran a school. Douai monks still maintain the other principal English Benedictine apostolate, serving the Church in parishes throughout England. At the monastery itself we offer a welcome to guests on retreats or courses of various sorts, as well as those who seek some quiet time. There are facilities to house conferences of modest size, and youth or chaplaincy groups. Our library and archive building houses a rich resource for study and research, and is open to researchers and students by application. From time to time we host a number of sacred concerts given by leading performers.

However, the primary work of the monks, as it is for all Benedictines, is the regular celebration of the sung Divine Office and the Mass, and all our liturgical worship is open to the public. If you are a single Catholic man between the ages, generally, of 18 and 45 and wonder if you might be called to share our way of life, please do look at our information on vocations. While our website explains our life and history in greater depth, you are always welcome to come and see.

LET US DO what the Prophet says: "I said, 'I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue. I have set a guard to my mouth.' I was mute and was humbled, and kept silence even from good things". Here the Prophet shows that if the spirit of silence ought to lead us at times to refrain even from good speech, so much the more ought the punishment for sin make us avoid evil words.
Rule of St Benedict, chapter 6

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