Monasteries | Saint Joseph's Abbey - Spencer (USA)
In 1825 Trappist monks from France founded the first monastery of their Order in North America at Tracadie, Nova Scotia. The early years were difficult and vocations rare, but in 1858 the monastery of Westvletern in Belgium generously came to the rescue, sending sent eight of its monks to help out. Thanks to the growth that followed, the monastery was eventually elevated to the rank of Abbey in 1876. But new vocations were still few, and after two disastrous fires in 1892 and 1896, the community moved to Cumberland, Rhode Island in the United States, and finally to Spencer in 1950. In 2000 the community celebrated the 175th anniversary of its foundation.
At Saint Joseph's Abbey we have two major industries in which most all of the monks participate.
At "Trappist Preserves" we produce and package a selection of preserves, jams, jellies, marmalades and conserves.
At "The Holy Rood Guild" we design and create liturgical vesture, in collaboration with gifted local tailors and crafters.
This work of our hands provides for our own livelihood as well as our assistance of the poor.