The Abbey at Richardton – Spiritual Home of Monks on Mission

A few years ago we stopped at Richardton to visit Assumption Abbey, home of Saint Mary’s Parish, one of North Dakota’s most beautiful houses of worship. You can read more about the abbey and its history in my original post here.

Richardton Abbey 2020-4

In September 2020, we again visited the church, but this time we explored some of the other buildings in the abbey that is still home to a small number of monks who live and work in the abbey as well as outside in nearby communities. As I noted in my earlier post, the Benedictine Monks moved from the Devils Lake area to Richardton in 1899. The image above is a view of the courtyard in the center of the quad of buildings.

Richardton Abbey 2020-1

Saint Mary’s Church, established in December 1896, features those two Bavarian Romanesque twin towers, and the four bells have called parishioners to Mass since 1908. This year, they are celebrating 125 years and the associated school was active from 1905 to 1998.

The parish has a strong heritage of Germans, both Russian and Hungarian. These days, the parish has a more diverse membership. If you are traveling on I-94, it’s only a few-minute drive to get to the abbey. A GPS isn’t needed as those twin spires will lead you through the city directly to the church front door.

Please feel free to click on any of the images above to check it out in HD and to scroll through the gallery which contains a few more images than I have posted on this page. Or you can click here to view the entire album on Flickr.

John Steiner


  1. The USA isn’t the first country that comes to mind when we think of monks… I’ve learned something new again, thanks John.
    This is a beautiful building and I am glad it is still being used for the same reason it was built!

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