St. Cloud Diocese and Japan

The Diocese of St. Cloud was connected with Japan through the Benedictine Fathers and Brothers of St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN. The Benedictines had a community in Japan, at the Trinity Monastery in Suwa-gun, Fujimi, Japan. Read more about the priests and monks who lived there below.

benedictinesWho We Are and Where We Came From

The following is an article written by Fr. Roman Paur, OSB, the former prior of Trinity Benedictine Monastery in Suwa-gun, Fujimi, Japan.

On 22 November 2009 Trinity Benedictine Monastery officially accepted three Japanese men as new members of the Catholic monastic community in Suwa-gun, Fujimi. The three men are from Yamaguchi, Yokosuka, and Himeji. Three additional men, one Japanese from Tokyo, one from Hong Kong, and one from China, entered the novitiate, a year-long period of prayerful discernment of monastic life before they can be accepted in the community. Presently the monastery has a total of fourteen members, eight Japanese and Chinese, and six Americans. They are often seen also in the stores and shops and churches of Fujimi and regional cities.

On 20 June 2009, the monks marked their 10th year in Fujimi and the dedication of the new monastery buildings designed by Mr Ken Takagaki and Associates, Tokyo. The Benedictine monks moved to Fujimi from the Meguro district of Tokyo where they created a new parish in 1947 to assist in the resettlement of the Japanese people and to pray for world peace. The monks in Meguro came from Saint John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA, to continue the Benedictine presence in Japan, a presence that was first established in 1931 in Chigasaki by monks from the German monastery of Beuron.

Benedictine monasticism was founded by Saint Benedict of Nursia, a small village in central Italy, in the 6th century. Benedict wrote a Rule in which he emphasized the importance of prayer, community life and hospitality. In that tradition, Trinity Benedictine Monastery is an international Catholic community of men anchored in the Japanese culture. The mission of the monastery is to serve the Church of Japan by witnessing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in community life and work together, in common prayer for world peace and the well-being of all peoples, and in ministries of hospitality, learning, and pastoral outreach.

In addition to a life of prayer and work, the monks serve in regional parish churches for the Japanese and Filipino faithful, participate in interfaith programs, welcome visitors of all faith traditions, receive overnight guests in a small guesthouse, publish a periodic newsletter, and sponsor cultural and spiritual events open and free to the public.

The Monastery permanently close in October of 2016.

Devastation of 2011

Following the devastating earthquakes and tsunami that hit in February of 2011,the Mission Office contacted Prior Roman Paur to inquire about the safety of Trinity Monastery and the area where our Benedictines serve in Japan.  The following was his brief email back:

Thank you very much.  We are all ok, but it is a disaster beyond belief.  The quakes continue and the water surge can be 25 feet.  – Roman

Please continue to hold them, and all the people of Japan affected by this time of natural disaster, in your prayers throughout the long and difficult rebuilding process.


Read more about the Benedictines’ Ministry in Japan in past newsletters (contact the Mission Office for these edition):

  1. Summer 2011
  2. Summer 2010 (article above)
  3. Summer 2007