Saint Joseph's Abbey 167 North Spencer Rd. Spencer, MA 01562-1233 Tel. 508.885.8700
Our Day
Becoming A Monk
Work Of Our Hands
Trappist Preserves
Holy Rood Guild
Vocation Weekend
What we do
What We Do. Work has always been greatly esteemed in the Cistercian tradition, since it gives the monks the opportunity to follow in Christ's footsteps and share in his divine work of creation and restoration.

This sometimes hard and redeeming work provides for our own livelihood and for our care of the poor. Here at Saint Joseph's Abbey we have two major industries in which most all of the monks participate.

At Trappist Preserves we produce and package a selection of jams, jellies, marmalades and conserves. At The Holy Rood Guild we design and create liturgical vesture, in collaboration with gifted local tailors and crafters. To view our product lines or to make purchases, please go to the following websites: (for Trappist Preserves) and (for The Holy Rood Guild).


Trappist Preserves

In the autumn of 1954 the monks who worked in the Abbey herb garden decided to make a batch of mint jelly. The mint had been abundant that year, and they wanted to put it to good use. Their homemade jelly was sent down the hill to be sold at the Porter's Lodge. The response was enthusiastic. Soon the brothers experimented with other varieties of fruit and wine jellies, jams and preserves. And there were great hopes that jelly-making might prove to be a successful and compatible monastic industry. From these humble beginnings Trappist Preserves grew into a profitable business which continues to contribute to the monks' livelihood. At present Trappist Preserves is the top-selling specialty preserves in New England and is found in most major supermarkets.


Holy Rood Guild

The Founders of the Cistercian Order are said to have described themselves as pulchritudinis studium habentes - those intent on Beauty, the Beauty of holiness, the Beauty of God. Perhaps it was this same love of Beauty quickened by necessity which inspired three monks of Our Lady of the Valley in Rhode Island to open a small vestment shop in the undercroft of the abbey church. There they would sew chasubles, copes and stoles for their own sacristy. The year was 1949. Soon visitors were requesting vestments like those they had seen during the monastic liturgy, and The Holy Rood Guild was born. The monks are now assisted by a group of highly skilled tailors. For over fifty years The Holy Rood Guild has been creating vesture of beauty and distinction to fittingly express the reverence, love and devotion which the Church brings to her celebration of the Sacred Liturgy.

Home  |  Back to Top  |  Contact Us  |  Links