Douai Abbey

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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, and finally returned to England in 1903, settling at Woolhampton in Berkshire.

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 welcome guests on retreats or courses, as well as those who seek merely some quiet time. There are facilities for 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 is the regular celebration of the sung Divine Office and the Mass, and all such 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. Our website explains our life and history in greater depth, but you are always welcome to come and see.

Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore, the brethren should be occupied at certain times in manual labor, and at other fixed hours in holy reading... they are truly monks if they live by the labor of their hands as did our Fathers and the Apostles. Let all things, however, be done in moderation on account of the weak.

Rule of St Benedict, Chapter 48
Monk, by young American artist Gaelen Mibeck
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