Portsmouth Abbey is a community of Benedictine monks on Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. Our mission is to seek God guided by the Gospel, the Rule of St. Benedict, and by prayer and work to sanctify ourselves and our community.
The monastery was purchased in 1918 by Dom Leonard Sargent, an American monk of Downside Abbey in England and established formally in 1919 by Pope Benedict XV. In keeping with the congregation’s early history, we run a college preparatory boarding school for boys and girls. The monks also focus on scholarly and artistic work, hospitality, and liturgical observance.
The English Congregation of which Portsmouth Abbey is a member is the older of the Benedictine congregations. It has canonical continuity with the first congregation erected in the 13th century by the Holy See.
The monks run schools attached to their monasteries and look after parishes and mass centers near them. In the United States, there are two other monasteries, one in Washington, DC (St. Angel Abbey) and another in St. Louis (St. Louis Priory). Both run day schools for boys.
It should also be noted that a tradition revived by Fr Augustine Baker in the early 1600’s emphasized contemplative and mental prayer, a tradition that continues at Portsmouth and the other houses of the Benedictine Congregation.