In 1986 Abbot Francis Rossiter and the monks of Ealing originally conceived the Benedictine Study and Arts Centre as a Studium for monks and nuns, especially members of the English Benedictine Congregation and other Benedictine Congregations in Northern Europe . It was eventually established in 1992 and the Benedictine monks of Ealing Abbey upon the twin monastic emphases of hospitality and community life.
Following the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) and after several years of reflection with Abbot Francis Rossiter, the monks of Ealing Abbey thought to establish a School of Theology & Religious Studies staffed by monks and offering theology courses for monks and nuns in Britain and Ireland. Four monks were asked to obtain the necessary educational qualifications to make this plan feasible
Upon these two pillars the volunteer staff have nurtured the enduring intention one day perhaps to teach Catholic theology and Religious Studies to students from different monasteries in our country.
The monastic apostolate is primarily to offer hospitality, first in a welcoming setting to share with visitors the treasures of monastic culture and wisdom, and also our particular tradition of ‘sapiential’ theology – a theology tried and tested by experience and time.
The Benedictine Study and Arts Centre became well-known in London and the South-East of England not only for the courses offered in Philosophy, Theology, Liturgy and Languages, but also for the hospitality offered in the quiet, leafy setting. Dom James Leachman, one of the four monks sent to pursue further studies in order to serve here, went on to teach at the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy from 2002 to 2015. Dom James is now available to develop opportunities for adult teaching and learning at Ealing Abbey.
Fr Abbot and the monastic community have now renamed and relaunched BSAC as Benedictine Institute. We shall maintain and improve the Catholic identity of the Benedictine Institute as a way Catholics can contribute to making the world a better place.
© Ealing Abbey, edited 23 February 2016