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Earthquake Devastates Norcia

On Sunday, October 30, 2016, a major earthquake (6.6) in the area of Norcia, Italy destroyed the Basilica San Benedetto. The Basilica, constructed between 1290 and 1338, honored the birthplace of St. Benedict and his sister, St. Scholastica and was on the site where it is believed they were born. Fortunately, none of the monks of the monastery were injured. No deaths in Norcia were reported, although about 20 were injured. This is the most recent of serious earthquakes that have hit central Italy in the last several months. Let us be mindful of all the people of the region who are suffering.


The Alliance for International Monasticism* (AIM USA) is an organization of approximately 115 Benedictine*/Cistercian* Monasteries* of men and women in the United States and Canada and over 400 communities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America who follow the Rule of Benedict*.

AIM USA promotes cooperation and solidarity among monasteries throughout the world. Monasteries in the United States and Canada respond to the needs of monasteries in developing countries by providing spiritual and financial assistance which facilitates the education and formation of their members. In turn, these monasteries become vibrant communities and centers of life for others.

Monasteries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America enrich their sisters and brothers in the United States and Canada with global vision, fresh insights into monastic life, cultural diversity, and gospel witness of service to the poor.

AIM USA believes that the interaction of the monastic family brings spiritual conversion and human enrichment to all followers of St. Benedict of Nursia*.

*Click here for definitions of these monastic terms:
Cistercian (O.Cist)
St. Benedict of Nursia
Rule of Benedict
Trappist (O.C.S.O.)

  • Cleaning corn in Africa

    Cleaning corn in Africa

  • Processing cocoa in Pertapaan Indonesia

    Processing cocoa in Pertapaan Indonesia

  • Sorting almonds at Monasterio de la Ascuncion, Rengo, Chile

    Sorting almonds at Monasterio de la Ascuncion, Rengo, Chile

  • Brother Ephrem Bakery Kurisamala India

    Brother Ephrem Bakery Kurisamala India

  • Vera Lucia Choir Mosteiro Salvador Brasil

    Vera Lucia Choir Mosteiro Salvador Brasil

  • Grace and Compassion India

    Grace and Compassion India

  • Celebration in Peramiho, Tanzania, East Africa

    Celebration in Peramiho, Tanzania, East Africa

Meet a Monastery

St. Justina’s Monastery, OCSO Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria, West Africa

St. Justina’s Monastery was founded 1st May 1982. While studying in Ireland Rev. Sr. Justina Anigbo, a Holy Rosary sister from Eke town in Udi Local Government Area in Enugu state came in contact with the monks of Mt. Mellary Abbey, a Cistercian Monastery in Cappoquin. She learned that there was a female branch of the Cistercian life. Sister Justina contacted the sisters at Glencairn, later joined them, and made her simple profession with them on 26th of April 1973.

After her profession a number of Nigerian bishops, including Archbishop Arinze of Onitsha, visited Glencairn and expressed a desire to take Cistercian Life to Nigeria. In November 1975, Sr. Justina visited home and found some girls who were interested in monastic life. She took the girls to Our Lady of Grandselve, Obout in Cameroon for their formation. The foundation was approved by the General Chapter of 1981. Sr. Justina became sick and on the 3rd of October 1981, she died in a hospital in London.

A Prayer of AIM for Monastic Life

O loving God,
We ask your blessing,
on all monastic men and women,
especially those who live and work
in the most destitute parts of the world.

Help us to become people of prayer and peace.
May we be visible signs that strangers
can live together in God's love.
Give us hearts wide enough to welcome
the traveler, the outcast, the neighbor.

Enable us to listen to and learn from
the people we serve, especially the poorest.
May out communities be models of wise stewardship,
of dignified human labor, of sacred leisure,
and of reverence for all living things.

Above all, O God, may a monastic presence
in the world be a constant witness of justice,
compassion and hope to all. Amen.

by Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB

CLICK HERE to request a prayer card.

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