Diocese of Crookston looks to purchase Mount St. Benedict campus

Property will become a pastoral center and retreat facility, with private space for Benedictine sisters

Times Report

The Diocese of Crookston and the Sisters of Saint Benedict jointly announced Thursday that the Diocese of Crookston intends to purchase the Mount Saint Benedict campus. The property will become a pastoral center and retreat facility for the Diocese of Crookston. The proceeds of the sale of the monastery will be allocated to the retirement support of the Benedictine Sisters who have served the diocese for over 100 years. The arrangement provides a private section of the current monastery for the sisters to live out their monastic lives.

“As religious communities across the United States have become smaller, they have been searching for ways to regroup in smaller residences while putting their larger buildings to alternate good uses. Some religious communities are being left with empty, unusable structures,” said Sister Jane Becker, OSB, Mount St. Benedict administrator. “We are among the fortunate communities whose buildings are relatively new, still in excellent shape, and there is someone standing by, ready to use the building for a worthy, ministry-related purpose.”

Ministries in the Diocese of Crookston will continue in a modern, accessible location that offers training rooms, offices, retreat facilities and private grounds within walking distance from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

The Diocese of Crookston is currently located at 1200 Memorial Drive. Mount St. Benedict is located to the immediate west of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, at 620 Summit Avenue.

“The timing of this project is providential for the Diocese of Crookston, as well as the Benedictine Sisters,” said the Most Reverend Richard E. Pates, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Crookston. “It will offer tremendous support to diocesan ministries. It is simply the perfect fit for all parties concerned,”

The Diocese of Crookston has launched “The Perfect Fit” capital campaign to raise $15 million; of that, $12 million will go toward the purchase of Mount Saint Benedict and $3 million will establish an endowment for the property’s maintenance. To date, $6.67 million has been pledged so the Diocese of Crookston and Sisters of Saint Benedict “can carry on their shared mission to grow and sustain the call to missionary discipleship in northwest Minnesota,” Thursday’s announcement states. “All Diocese of Crookston faithful will have an opportunity to support this endeavor financially and prayerfully in coming months,” the statement continues.