Our Roots

The Benedictines have been serving God and His Church for over 1500 years. The order was founded in Italy in the 6th century by Saint Benedict of Nursia, during a time in history when ungodliness and a lack of faith and morality permeated society.

In 1852, a group of Benedictine women from Bavaria, Germany (the same region where Pope Benedict XVI hails from) founded a monastery at St. Marys, Pennsylvania. Mother Benedicta Riepp was the foundress of the monastery.

As the community of sisters grew, branch houses were founded in various parts of the United States. Branch homes were founded in St. Joseph and Duluth, Minnesota, and in 1919 a monastery was founded in Crookston, Minnesota.

Sisters from the Mount St. Benedict Monastery, Crookston, MN established the Benedictine Monastery of the Good Shepherd in El Sauz, near Rio Grande City, Texas, as a dependent monastery in 1991. The pioneers of the Texas monastery are: Sister Frances Solum, Sister Luella Walsh, and Sister Nancy Boushey.