Abbey of St. Walburga History

We trace our origins to the early nuns and monks of the Middle Eastern deserts, who sought to live the Gospel of Christ wholeheartedly. St. Benedict (480-543) distilled his Rule from this living tradition for those who gathered around him seeking a way of life that would lead them to God. His “little rule for beginners,” as he calls it, has lasted for over 1,500 years because of its flexibility and insight into human nature. St. Benedict tells us to “prefer nothing to the work of God”—the daily rhythm of praying the psalms in the Divine Office. In this exalted form of prayer we bring all of creation together into the praise of God.

Our patroness, St. Walburga (710-779) herself participated in the missionary thrust that carried Benedictine monasticism from the flourishing monasteries of Anglo-Saxon England to the continent. Her relics are kept at the Abtei St. Walburg in Eichstätt, Germany, which was founded in 1035.

Our Colorado community was founded in 1935 from the Abtei St. Walburg. Three Sisters from our motherhouse were sent to Boulder, Colorado to establish a monastery that was to be a potential place of refuge for the nuns in Germany from the Nazi regime. The nuns bought, at a very low price, what had been declared “un-farmable” land by the monks who owned it. With great determination and trust in God, the three Sisters, later accompanied by several more nuns, not only turned the land into a flourishing farm, but also set the ground work for a vibrant, joyful community of nuns who live faithful lives of service to the Church through prayer, praise, and conversion. The convent of St. Walburga was elevated to the status of “Abbey” in 1989.

In 1997, the Abbey of St. Walburga community relocated from Boulder to our present site in Virginia Dale, Colorado, on land donated to us by a generous Denver businessman and his wife. We will never be able to express sufficiently our gratitude to the many people, some known to us, some known only to God, who have helped us throughout the years to continue our lives of prayer and service to God and the Church. Since 2003, Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB, has been leading our community as abbess with grace and zeal. Read more about Mother Maria-Michael