Conventions ~ Sections ~ Activities

A biennial convention
focuses on a theme relevant to the Benedictine heritage. These conventions, which are held at monastic institutions around the country, are open to any interested persons.


Upcoming convention:

We regret to inform you that the conference scheduled for August 8-11, 2024, at St. Meinrad Archabbey has been canceled due to low registration numbers. We will consider holding the event at a later date.


Previous conventions have included:

  • 2022: “Give a word…” – Virtual
  • 2020: “Seeing the World in a Single Ray of Light” – Virtual
  • 2018: “The Artisans of the Monastery” – St. Benedict’s Monastery, Saint Joseph, Minnesota
  • 2016: “Keep Death Daily Before Your Eyes” – Our Lady of Grace Monastery, Beech Grove, Indiana
  • 2014: “Benedictine Monasticism: The Past Receiving the Future” – Conception Abbey, Conception, Missouri
  • 2012: “Seek Peace and Pursue It: Monasticism in the Midst of Global Upheaval” – St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, Minnesota
  • 2010: “Benedictines and Evangelization” – St. Benedict’s Abbey/Benedictine College, Atchison, Kansas
  • 2008: “Monastic Spirituality: Expanding Merton’s Vision” – Sacred Heart Monastery, Mount Marty College, Yankton, South Dakota
  • 2006: “Family: Matrix, Model, Muddle” – Benedictine University, Lisle, Illinois
  • 2004: “Monastic Culture: Revitalizing Mind and Spirit” – St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, Minnesota
  • 2002: “Monastics and Mentoring: Refounding the Tradition” – University of Mary, Bismarck, North Dakota
  • 2000: “The Good News of Monastic Life” – Saint Meinrad Archabbey. Pre-Convention Papers
  • 1998: “Hospitality: Prism for the 21st Century” – St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pennsylvania


Many members of the Academy belong to ABA “sections.” Sections facilitate communication during and between conventions among members who have common interests. Current sections are Visual Arts, Monastic Research, Library and Archives.

The Archives Section is for those who keep the archives of their monasteries and for all friends of the archives. Monastic archives house community records which are no longer in current use but are of enduring value, ensuring their availability to scholars and researchers. The Archives Section is a resource for newly appointed monastic archivists as well as a community for all monastic archivists and archive volunteers. The Archives Section meets during the biennial ABA conference, at which time those in attendance discuss current projects and concerns. Between times, section members keep in touch by e-mail on an as-needed basis. If you would like more information or have suggestions, please contact: Virginia Jung, OSB, St. Scholastica Monastery, 7430 N. Ridge Blvd., Chicago, IL 60645 [email protected]

The Monastic Researchers Section is a forum for those studying monastic history, spirituality or related fields and includes many scholars who are not members of religious communities as well as the monastics. The section meets during the biennial ABA conference to inform others of their current projects and interests and to share resources. There is a regular newsletter which announces new publications by members, topics of current research and other items to facilitate networking among those fostering scholarship in this field, edited by Sister Ephrem Hollermann, OSB. Sister Colleen Maura McGrane is the current convenor of the section and may be reached at: [email protected]

The Visual Arts Section provides for sharing and support among ABA members who practice painting/drawing, sculpture/pottery, photography, textile arts, or any branch of the visual arts. Gregory Evans, OblSB, is the coordinator, please contact him at [email protected]

The Library Section provides a forum for monastery librarians as well as librarians of their sponsored institutions and anyone interested in monastic resources.


Benedictine Studies Sessions are sponsored by the Academy at the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. The congress is a worldwide gathering of scholars that takes place every May, and the ABA is one of many organizations that sponsor sessions. Each organization decides its themes for the following year at the time of the meeting. In late summer a call for papers is circulated and all sessions have to be organized and confirmed by October. Thus anyone wishing to participate should consult the congress website during the designated time frame or, if someone has a particular area of interest and would like to propose a topic for a future session, they may contact the ABA organizer:

Hugh Feiss, OSB
Monastery of the Ascension
541 East 100 South
Jerome, ID 83338
[email protected]