New book by Marmion monk comes out July 15

  • Father Joel Rippinger

    Father Joel Rippinger

Submitted by Marmion Abbey
Posted7/7/2020 7:57 PM

Father Joel Rippinger's recent sabbatical has brought to fruition a new book, "Struggle and Ascent: The History of Mount Angel Abbey," published by Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minn. Preorders are now available prior to the July 15 release date.

After nearly 40 years of waiting, the project of a comprehensive history of Mount Angel Abbey, Oregon has finally been realized. Initially conceived in conjunction with the Abbey's centennial in 1981, the history has been published in time for the millennial celebration of the monastery's Motherhouse in Engelberg, Switzerland.


The history of religious institutions is too often stereotyped as devoutly formulaic, excising or overlooking the inherent drama in most community histories. This is especially the case with Mount Angel Abbey. In its almost 140 years of existence, it has known triumph and tragedy. The sacrifices of a founding generation were joined to the devastation of two fires. An initially insular community of Swiss monks became Americanized and expanded to Canada and Mexico. Despite periods of financial crisis and the occasional scandal, the momentum of a unique monastic culture left its mark. In many ways, Mount Angel's history is the history of a pilgrim Church, a steady and transformative sign of God's kingdom on earth. The 224-page book includes black-and-white photos.

Father Joel Rippinger, OSB, is a monk of Marmion Abbey in Aurora. With graduate degrees in history from the University of Notre Dame and in monastic studies from the Pontifical University of Sant'Anselmo in Rome, he has written extensively on Benedictine history and spirituality for the past 40 years. He is the author of "The Benedictine Order in the United States: An Interpretive History" (Liturgical Press, 1990). He is a long-term member of the editorial board of the American Benedictine Review and a member and past president of the American Benedictine Academy. He continues to serve as formation director and director of oblates at Marmion Abbey and as instructor and faculty/staff chaplain at Marmion Academy in Aurora.

The volume can be ordered at or other online book sellers.

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