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How do Monasteries Support Themselves ?

Whether it’s Jams and Jellies (Trappist Preserves at Spencer, MA), Fruitcakes (Gethsemani Abbey, Kentucky), Caskets (New Melleray Abbey, Iowa) or Candies & Chocolates (Wrentham, MA) each monastery is self-supporting. The Rule of St. Benedict states “Ora et Labora”, pray and work. Each monastery is to support themselves by “the work of their hands”.  The monks of early centuries were self-supporting by weaving matts and baskets, - things they could do independently without becoming unnecessarily involved in social commerce.  

These current monastic industries, some being more successful than others, provide means of mutual support of material and personnel for the less-thriving and smaller communities.

For further reading – “Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks”,  by August Turak,  Columbia Business School Publishing


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