Grants & Awards

The Terrence G Kardong Monastic Studies Grant, awarded annually, provides financial support for monastic learning and research projects. All American Benedictine Academy members are invited to apply for these grants, which provide funds to support projects that foster the mission of the ABA, “to cultivate, support and transmit the Benedictine heritage within contemporary culture.”

The grant is named after the late “dean” of monastic studies in North America. A monk of Assumption Abbey in Richardton, North Dakota, for over 60 years, Fr. Terrence studied at St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota (B.A.), Catholic University of America (M.A.) and the Pontifical University of Sant’Anselmo (Licentiate). He was the long term editor of the American Benedictine Review and published many books and articles, especially Benedict’s Rule: A Translation and Commentary (1996), The Life of St. Benedict by Gregory the Great: Translation and Commentary (2009) and Benedict Backwards: Reading the Rule in the Twenty-First Century (2017). He died on March 24, 2019.

Grant support may be used for research, travel, or other modes of exploring and promoting the Benedictine heritage. It may also be used for travel expenses and registration fees for the purpose of presenting a scholarly paper on a monastic topic related to the Benedictine heritage at a scholarly convention. A total of $1150 is available to fund these annual grants.
Applicants must be members of the ABA. Applications will be selected on the basis of:

  • The quality of the proposal (originality, feasibility, clarity of purpose)
  • Potential benefit for monastics,
  • Relevance to the purposes of the Academy.

Recipients of grant support must be willing to submit a report on the use of the grant and/or a brief summary of the topic of the scholarly paper to the ABA board of directors within a year from the completion of the project/presentation of the paper for which the grant was given.

Recipients will be chosen by the ABA Awards Committee and approved by the ABA Board of directors at their meeting and awards will be announced immediately thereafter.

“…to cultivate, support and transmit the Benedictine heritage within contemporary culture.”

To apply for a grant please supply the following information:

  • Name, address, phone number, e-mail address
  • Religious or academic affiliation (if any)
  • A brief description of the proposed project
  • The goal(s) of the proposed project
  • An itemized budget for the project, which includes:
    1. Total cost of project
    2. Sources of funding other than the ABA
    3. Sum requested from the ABA

Send completed grant applications to:
Sister Edith Bogue, OSB
916 Convent Road NE
Cullman, AL 35055

or submit by email as a Word document to: [email protected]


Each convention year, the ABA sponsors an essay contest exploring topics related to the Benedictine tradition and charism. This contest is aimed at inspiring writing among newer community members and is open to monastics and oblates who have made their first profession or oblation within the past 10 years.

The word “essay” derives from the French verb essayer – to try, probe, or test. The Oxford English Dictionary notes that essays offer a sense of inquiry and discovery. They provide concrete evidence of the thinking that has gone into a piece of writing. The best essays spark thinking. They maintain a balance between the objective and the subjective. They inspire and delight the reader as well as inform.

In keeping with the upcoming ABA conference theme, essays should be 3,000–3,200 words in length and incorporate a variety of published or archival sources and personal experience.

The contest is open to professed members and oblates up to 10 years after first profession or oblation.


  • Submit a double-spaced essay of 3,000-3,200 words in a Word document. 
  • Essay should contain no identifying information. 
  • In your accompanying email please include your name, community, date of first profession or oblation, and mailing address.  

Information on the 2024 Essay Contest forthcoming!

Questions regarding the Contest can be emailed to [email protected]


  • A two-year membership in the American Benedictine Academy
  • Waiver of registration and hospitality fees for the upcoming ABA convention
  • A book of interest for monastics/oblates
  • The possibility of having one’s essay published in a relevant publication


At the ABA biennial business meeting on August 10, 2010, held at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, the membership approved a constitutional revision re-naming the previous “Fellowship Award” to the “Egregia Award.”

The Egregia (Latin: distinguished, exceptional, with outstanding praise) Award is the principal award conferred by the American Benedictine Academy upon individual members. The award is publicly bestowed at the biennial meeting and includes gratis lifetime membership. The recipients of this award will be so designated on the membership lists published in the American Monastic Newsletter.

This award is conferred on persons

  1. who have been members of the Academy for a minimum of eight years;
  2. whose achievement or contribution to the Academy’s purpose is long-standing in one or more of the following:
    • leadership in, or outstanding contribution to, conferences, symposia, programs of study or research projects that focus on monastic interests or themes;
    • publication of research that has a significant impact upon the understanding and development of monastic life;
    • long-term service in leadership capacities in the Academy;
    • development of and participation in creative expressions of monastic life in contemporary cultures.

Before each convention, academy members may nominate a person for the Egregia award by submitting the name of the nominee, together with a description of the nominee’s achievement. Nominations are considered by the board of directors for selection and conferral of the Egregia Award at the convention.


  • 2022: Sister Judith Sutera, OSB, Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, Kansas
  • 2020: Father Hugh Feiss, OSB, Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, Idaho
  • 2018: Father Joel Rippinger, OSB, Marmion Abbey, Aurora, Illinois
  • 2016: Sister Ephrem Hollermann, OSB, St. Benedict Monastery, Saint Joseph, Minnesota
  • 2014: Sister Renee Branigan, OSB, Sacred Heart Monastery, Richardton, North Dakota
  • 2012: Sister Shawn Carruth, OSB, Mount St. Benedict, Crookston, Minnesota
  • 2010: Father Terrence Kardong, OSB, Assumption Abbey, Richardton, North Dakota