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 came to settle at Douai in Flanders. After more political turmoil the community of St Edmund finally returned to England in 1903, to 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 in parishes throughout England. At the monastery itself we welcome 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 groups. Our new library and archive building houses a rich resource for study and research, and is open to scholars by application. From time to time we host 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.
Rule of St Benedict 4:74
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