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Mission Statement

We, the monks of Mepkin Abbey, are responding to God's call to live in solitude and silence in and for the Church according to an ancient form of radical Christian discipleship focused on seeking and finding God in community where we "are of one heart and soul and everything is held in common" (Acts 4: 32-33). We live the Rule of Saint Benedict embodied in the Cistercian tradition, praising God in our prayer, our meditative reading of Scripture, our work, and our hospitality, obeying the call of the Holy Spirit to ceaseless prayer and sharing the sufferings of the present time until the Lord returns (Rm 8:18-23).

We, the monks of Mepkin Abbey, bear witness to this contemplative monastic tradition in this particular place and time in the following ways:

  • Communal celebration of the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours
Lectio Divina:
  • Individual meditative reading of the Scripture in the morning and evening hours and at intervals, as we continue unceasing prayer.
  • We live by the work of our hands on the land made sacred by our search for God in participation with God's creation and restoration, in providing a livelihood for ourselves and the poor, and an offering of lives of fruitful sacrifice and penance, in unity with our brothers in a common purpose.
  • We share our spiritual journey and communal lives with all seekers including those beyond the household of the faith through the hospitality of retreat programs, the Monastic Guest experience, spiritual direction to guests, and by way of guided tours that explain our monastic life. (Rule of Saint Benedict, c. 53:16 "Monastery is never without visitors.")
  • We communicate the wisdom of our monastic traditions to those who use the Clare Boothe Luce Library as a learning resource, and those who attend the lectures, conferences, and cultural programs presented by our community.
  • We make available the natural beauty of Mepkin by developing and maintaining the public Gardens of the monastery to our visitors.
  • We pass on the richness of our traditions through the choice of books, religious art, monastic products and handcrafted items we offer in our Abbey store at the Reception Center.


Mepkin Abbey is a community of Roman Catholic monks established in 1949 on the site of the historic Mepkin Plantation located on the Cooper River, north of Charleston, South Carolina. Founded by the monks of Gethsemani in Kentucky, the brothers of Mepkin belong to the worldwide Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance. They are part of an ancient monastic tradition popularly known as "Trappist." The monks make their living by cultivating culinary mushrooms, operating a gift shop, and maintaining a donation-based retreat program available for seekers of all faiths.



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