St. Joseph Abbey, Spencer, MA

Established in 1950, St. Joseph's Abbey is a monastery of the Catholic Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (O.C.S.O.), popularly known as the "Trappists", located in Spencer, Massachusetts. Set apart from the actions and trends of most of their neighbors, the monastic community live a contemplative life, dedicating themselves to the praise and worship of God in a hidden life within their monastery. The grounds of the Abbey are open to the public except for the areas marked "Monastic Enclosure”.  These pictures offer a rare glimpse into the environment, ‘behind the gate’, in which the monks live. These pictures were taken on the occasion of the ordination to priesthood of Emmanuel Morinelli OCSO.