In praise of New Melleray Abbey


To the Editor:
New Melleray Abbey in Peosta, Iowa, is a school of charity, a place where we learn to love God with our whole heart, our whole mind and our whole soul. This is much of what I have experienced at New Melleray Abbey for the last 42 years. Initially, I retreated to New Melleray in January 1980 and was required to be mute except in talking to the abbot. My fellow retreatants and I worked on woodwork, painting and cleaning. We shared our meals without talking and listened to religious tapes. This allowed for silence. A time to listen to the Lord’s call.

Today, in retrospect, I realize the time alone has been time for introspective thoughts and searching. In 42 years, I have practiced those principles laid out in the rules of St. Benedict. In the monastery, a monk attends the Divine Office, he prays and practices Lectio Divina and engages in physical labor. In New Melleray, there is a balance of prayer and work. These monks pursue God. They believe that all things are done for the glory of God.

In practicing the habits and actions of New Melleray monks, I have benefitted in finding the peace of the Lord. To find myself, I have adopted reading the psalms of David. The monks read the psalms daily in seven offices (a collection of readings). In reflection of the psalms, I have found answers to many of life’s questions.

I encourage you to visit New Melleray Abbey, 6632 Melleray Circle, Peosta, Iowa 52068. The phone number is (563) 588-2319. The email address is and the website address is
Matt McAndrew


Support The Catholic Messenger’s mission to inform, educate and inspire the faithful of the Diocese of Davenport – and beyond! Subscribe to the print and/or e-edition, or make a one-time donation, today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted on