Emmanuel Monastery Past & Present

As we progress in this way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God’s commandments, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love. (RB Prologue)

In response to the challenges of the Second Vatican Council, twenty-three courageous women set out to bring the 1500 year Benedictine tradition to the Archdiocese of Baltimore, MD.

On July 1,1971, these women journeyed from St. Walburga Monastery in Elizabeth NJ, and began the hard work of establishing a community, reinterpreting the monastic tradition for our times. In 1978 the community was accepted into the Federation of St. Scholastica and officially became Emmanuel Monastery.

During the first twenty years of its history, the community lived in rented facilities: the convent at Martin Spalding High School in Severn, MD and the convent at St. Rose of Lima parish in Brooklyn, MD. In 1986 the present property was purchased and renovated to establish a permanent monastery in Lutherville, MD. In 1991 a smaller house, Visitation House,was purchased on nearby property, and in 2001 a further addition to the monastery building was completed. In 2007, the house next door to the monastery, Transfiguration House, was purchased, giving the community greater flexibility in programming, and providing additional space for community members and retreatants.

Sisters are involved in ministries within and outside the monastery, working in hospitals, parishes, in counseling, spiritual direction and retreats, hospice chaplaincy, soup kitchens, finance, education, and justice and peace.

The Chapel at Emmanuel Monastery

The monastery is both a home for the sisters and a place of welcome and hospitality for many who are seeking God in their lives. People are welcome to join the community for Liturgy of the Hours each day. Days of Prayer, retreat opportunities, prayer for peace, and special programs are offered throughout the year.

The Monastery Labyrinth

An attraction on the monastery grounds is our labyrinth. The labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness.  It is a sacred place where a person can ‘journey’ into his/her own sacred space deep within. The labyrinth combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. At its most basic level the labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are.