South Dakota monastery announces it’s closing this summer

South Dakota monastery announces it’s closing this summer June 11, 2012

It’s the Blue Cloud Abbey, and the abbot posted the following message on its website today:

This is not an easy message to write. As a community we have been discussing our situation for some time. However, because of all the hoops and hurdles which come with such a discussion, we were unable to mention it outside the community. Though it has not been an easy decision we have come to the conclusion that it is a necessary one. At present Blue Cloud has fourteen members. Three are in their nineties, two are in their eighties, seven are in their seventies, one is in his fifties and one is in his forties. If we were suddenly to get an influx of candidates, it would take years before they would be full fledged monks. Hence, Blue Cloud Abbey will close formally on August 5th 2012. Over the next few months the task is to help each Blue Cloud monk settle into another monastery of his choice.

Does our closure mean that as a Benedictine monastery Blue Cloud has been a failure? Certainly not! Blue Cloud has been a wonderful community, and the monks have been very effective in many areas for the past sixty two years. Then why has Blue Cloud not received the needed vocations throughout the years? That is not something we can answer. We have been praying and been open to God working in the life of our community. Now, regardless of any other concern, the main concern has to be getting each monk settled into a new monastic home.

Your friendship through the years has been greatly appreciated. Please continue to keep us in you thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely in Christ,
Abbot Denis Quinkert, OSB

You can read more about the abbey at its website.

Its Wikipedia entry notes:

It is a member of the Swiss-American Congregation. The patron saint of the monastery is the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of “Our Lady of the Snows“.

Blue Cloud was founded in 1950 from St. Meinrad Abbey in Indiana. The monks were involved in ministry on several Indian reservations, but are now engaged in a variety of ministries.

Prayers go out to all concerned during this difficult time of transition.

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