hrist the King Monastery is a community of contemplative Benedictine monks established in order to preserve the traditional practices of the monastic life under the Holy Rule of St. Benedict. It seeks to maintain inviolate the Catholic Faith, in continuity with tradition and in fidelity to the teaching authority of the Church. In its liturgical life, the monastery employs the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, cherishing its ancient and venerable usage as eminently fitting for Divine worship, and seeking to make its riches available to all the Catholic faithful, according to the intention of our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI as expressed in his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. Thus, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at Christ the King Monastery is offered according to the form ordained by the Council of Trent and as codified in A.D. 1570 by Pope St. Pius V in the Bull, Quo Primum.
monastery was founded by Reverend Father Leonard Giardina, O.S.B., a
monk since 1942 and a priest since 1949. Due to misguided changes in
the Roman Catholic Church, brought about by erroneous interpretation
and faulty implementation of the Second Vatican Council, he left his
original monastery. He soon realized that it was imperative that the
traditional Benedictine way of life be preserved and kept alive for the
welfare of the holy Catholic Faith. On July 13, 1994, he received the
Abbatial Blessing by His Excellency, Bishop Robert F. McKenna, O.P.
Although the Abbatial Blessing conferred on him the title and power of
an abbot over a monastery, it did not make him a bishop with the power of ordaining to the Holy Priesthood.
bbot Leonard took the first steps to found the monastery in the year 1984. In April of 1985, land was purchased and shortly thereafter a temporary chapel, named after St. Francis of Assisi, was built. This chapel is no longer in use. Beside the chapel is a small house which was used as the first Novitiate. Like all great undertakings done for the love of God, it began small.
Construction of a new and
permanent monastery was begun in April of 1989 and completed in the
dawn of 1990. The monastery itself, where the monks live and sleep, is
a building designed to accommodate 20 to 25 monks.
s soon as
funds became available, construction of a proper monastic church was
begun in October, 1992. In order to cut the cost of construction, the
monks did as much of the work as possible themselves. Although the
church was unfinished, the first Mass was offered to God in
thanksgiving on the beautiful day of Christmas Eve, 1994. Finally,
after three long years of hard work, the church was ready to be moved
into. It was dedicated on April 23, 1995.
t the end
of 2010, several weeks before the death of Abbot Leonard, the monks,
with his permission, began the process of reconciliation of the
monastery with the Church. In May of 2011, the monastery reopened its
church to the public, and the Tridentine Mass is now offered again
daily, as it was before. In rendering obedience to the Church, the monks
are rendering their obedience to Christ, Who Himself assured the
predecessors of our present Pope and the bishops united with him, “He
who hears you, hears Me.” Authentic obedience to the Church demands
submission to the authority of the Church, which the monks have
demonstrated by doing the will of God in this matter. See the statement
from the Bishop of Birmingham for more information.
hrist the King Abbey is located in Cullman, Alabama, in the northern section of the state, amongst the lovely rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The Abbey’s one hundred and forty acres of land are situated in a quiet countryside, amid beautiful scenery and a peaceful atmosphere. Even though several private residences are located nearby, the Abbey enjoys the privacy that a contemplative life requires. Yet all exterior peace and beauty will not unite the soul to God. The monk must earnestly strive to dispose the cloister of his soul for the pure prayer of contemplation, where God is intimately known, not by an abstract theoretical knowledge, but by love.