Our Story

From Rome to North America


In 1912 four Benedictine sisters from Duluth, Minnesota established a monastic community in Winnipeg with Mother Veronica Zymanska as Prioress. The mission of the community was “education and the practice of Christian charity”. At that time, the sisters taught at Holy Ghost School on Selkirk Avenue and opened an orphanage to care for 75 children.

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In 1915 the orphanage was transferred from Winnipeg to the village of Arborg, seventy miles north of Winnipeg.

In 1923 the building at Arborg was enlarged and the monastery was re-located there, leaving the convent in Winnipeg as a mission where the sisters continued to teach.

In 1961 a new priory and girls’ academy were built on the outskirts of Winnipeg and the community once again transferred its headquarters. The old convent in Arborg was renovated to become St. Benedict’s Manor for care of the elderly.

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In 1970 in response to the calls of Vatican II, the community undertook a self-study and renewal.  One of the results was the decision to close St. Benedict’s Academy and to reopen that same year as St. Benedict’s Educational Centre where we offered hospitality to church and educational groups conducting their in-services. This continues as St. Benedict’s Retreat and Conference Centre which has become also a place for women and men to find renewal and personal spiritual growth.