Benedictine Values

Saint John's alumni are part of a 1,500-year  Benedictine Catholic tradition.

This tradition is guided by values distilled from the Rule of St. Benedict, written in the sixth century by St. Benedict, the founder of the Benedictine monastic order.

These values give us a set of practices for a life modeled on Jesus. They provide insight and support to alumni in building strong and caring family, civic and church communities, wherever life takes them.

Below you will find the core values, an interpretation of each, and its reference in the Rule of St. Benedict.


Awareness of God

We acknowledge the primacy of God.
To look for God in the ordinary events of each day.
We believe that the divine presence is everywhere.  RB 19.1

Community Living

We are committed to forming stable relationships in the community. 
To become who we are by our relationships with others.
. . . and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.  RB 72.12

Taking Counsel

We call the community together for counsel to make decisions. 
To cultivate rootedness and a shared sense of mission:  to stand firm in one's promises.
As often as anything important is to be done . . . the abbot shall call the whole community together and explain what the business is . . .  RB 3.1

Respect for persons

We reverence all persons. 
To respect each person regardless of class, cultural background, or professional skill.
No one is to pursue what is judged best for oneself, but instead, what is better for someone else.  RB 72.7


We listen reverently with the ear of our heart.
To hear keenly and sensitively the voices of persons and all created beings.
Listen . . . with the ear of your heart.  RB Prologue 1

Dignity of work

We are committed to stability of place. 
To appreciate the dignity of work in God's creation.
. . . they live by the labor of their hands.  RB 48.8


We practice hospitality and respect for all persons. 
To offer warmth, acceptance, and joy in welcoming others.
Let all . . . be received as Christ.  RB 53.1


We reverence all creation. 
To appreciate and to care lovingly for all the goods of this place.
Regard all utensils as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar.  RB 31.10

Truthful living

We foster an environment for deep transformation of the whole person (conversatio). 
To practice enthusiasm for conversatio. 
Through this love, all . . . will now begin to be observed without effort, as though naturally, for habit, . . . out of love for Christ, good habit, and delight in virtue.  RB 7.68-69


We are committed to practicing simplicity and frugality. 
To be content with living simply and finding balance in work, prayer, and leisure. 
All things are done in moderation.  RB 48.9

Common Good

We integrate a commitment to the common good and respect for the individual. 
To develop a robust sense of the common good.
We intend to establish a school for the Lord's service . . . We hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome. The good of all concerned may prompt us to a little strictness in order to amend faults and to safeguard love.  RB Prologue 45-47


We are committed to practicing justice. 
To work toward a just order in our immediate environment and in the larger society. 
. . . that in all things may God be glorified.  RB 57.9