From the earliest days of the community, the brothers have taken an active part in the Town Meetings, discussing and learning about issues that face the local village and state.
Of special concern are the welfare of lower-income residents, and the promotion of sound environmental policies (an area in which the brothers are able to share their values and experience in the management of their forest land).
The witness of justice and nonviolence is of central importance to the brothers as a community of faith.
Recognizing that the work for justice is an essential requirement of the Gospel, the brothers, as a community, seek to experience firsthand the real-life situations of those who daily face inequality and injustice; to allow that experience with the poor to evangelically challenge them; and to enter into friendship and solidarity with persons and communities in these situations. The opening invitation of the Rule of Benedict, "Listen with the ear of your heart," becomes a challenge to respond to the voice of God in the cries of those who suffer.
This process of listening and responding has led the community into Appalachia's coal country, remote mountain villages of Mexico, war-ravaged Nicaragua, and our own nation's inner cities.
Together with a congregation of Benedictine sisters in Mexico, the brothers cosponsor a small Hospitality/Retreat Center, Centro Guadalupe, in Cuernavaca, Mexico, in order to share firsthand experiences of Latin America with persons from North America.
The brothers have also proclaimed their monastery a Public Sanctuary for Central American Refugees, and have welcomed a refugee family from Guatemala to live at the Priory.
Former Abbot Primate, Rembert Weakland, OSB, has written, "The custom of monasteries acting as sanctuaries did not cease in the Middle Ages... Sanctuary is not a way of avoiding justice, but a holy respite, so that true justice can eventually be done."