Benedictines and Beer: A Recipe for Evangelization

Photo: CNS/Henry Daggett

Photo: CNS/Henry Daggett

For the past year, people have been flocking to a Benedictine monastery in Norcia, about 70 miles northeast of Rome. What is drawing them to this place of prayer and worship? Beer, of course.

The Rule of St. Benedict involves both prayer and manual labor, and so the 18 monks who live in the monastery started brewing and selling beer as a way to sustain themselves financially. Their effort has been very successful, not just financially but as a means of reaching out to those who may not have any other connection to religion.

“Beer is something that often can break down barriers,” said ‘head brewmonk’ Brother Francis Davoren.

Visitors who come for the beer often make their way to the monastery’s church, and the monks hope the beauty of both the beer and the liturgy will leave a lasting impression on their guests. Fr. Basil Nixen, the novice master, said,

“Here in Norcia, we’re at a very important place for evangelization. We’re continually sharing with others our life, above all the liturgy. People come to the monastery for the beer, but they leave realizing God brought them to Norcia to meet him.”

Read the full story at Catholic News Service.

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