Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey: Dubuque, Iowa
Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey is a monastic community of Trappist nuns founded from Mount St. Mary Abbey (Wrentham, MA) in 1964 (in turn, nuns from Mississippi Abbey founded Tautra Mariakloster in Norway). At present 22 Roman Catholic women try to follow Jesus Christ through a life of prayer, silence, simplicity, and ordinary work at the abbey. The goal of their life together is union with God through prayer.
Their rule of life, after the Gospel, is the Rule of St Benedict (ca. 480-550 A.D.). The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists) is a branch of the Benedictine family containing autonomous but interdependent monasteries of women or men. Like all Cistercian monasteries, Mississippi Abbey is dedicated to Our Lady, Mary the mother of Jesus, who listened to the Word of God and pondered it in her heart (Luke 2,19).
The monastery is situated on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River south of Dubuque, Iowa. The nuns earn their living through the Trappistine Creamy Caramels they produce in a workshop on their property, which consists of 630 acres including over 350 acres of managed woodlands and a 200-acre organic farm.
Six times a day they gather in the abbey church to sing God's praise, with liturgies open to the public. Four small guest houses are available for individuals or very small groups of any religious tradition wishing to make a private retreat in the abbey's beautiful, peaceful setting.