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This website is intended to help meet the needs of the Associates of the Iowa Cistercians. The AIC meets monthly at New Melleray or Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey near Dubuque, Iowa. Membership in the AIC is open to Christian men and women who feel a calling to a contemplative lifestyle in the world and who wish to model that lifestyle on values and practices evident in Cistercian monasteries.

If you are interested in joining the AIC community, please click on Contact Coordinator and send us an e-mail. Please note that because of the growing size of the community, we may need to restrict membership in the future.

In addition, the AIC assists a distinct on-line community of Lay Cistercians called the Conversi. The Conversi community is intended for people who feel an calling to a contemplative and Cistercian lifestyle, but who are unable, because of distance or time, to participate in existing associate programs. For more information, visit the Conversi web site.




A Cistercian Associate is a person who feels a calling from God to lead a contemplative and spiritual life in the world, a life modeled on the wisdom of Cistercian values and practices, and who seeks a community of like-minded people.

We in the AIC feel called to follow the example of Christ as revealed in the Gospels. To this end, we have found the Cistercian tradition flowing from the Rule of Saint Benedict very important in our formation as lay contemplatives living in the world.

We have observed and participated in the consistency and harmony by which the brothers and sisters incorporate prayer, sacred reading,and work in their daily routines, and how they embrace the Cistercian values and practices that shape their lives.

Through our participation and our involvement, we have discovered that many of these Cistercian values and practices are relevant for those of us outside monastic communities who wish to live in a Christ-centered way in the secular world.

Benedictine Values

  • Awareness of God - To look for God in the Ordinary events of each day.
  • Community Living - To become who we are by our relationships with others.
  • Dignity of work - To appreciate the dignity of work in God's creation.
  • Hospitality - To offer warmth, acceptance, and joy in welcoming others.
  • Justice - To work toward a just order in our immediate environment and in the larger society.
  • Listening - To hear keenly and sensitively the voices of persons and all created beings.
  • Moderation - To be content with living simply and finding balance in work, prayer, and leisure.
  • Peace - To strive for peace on all levels: with self, others, and God.
  • Respect for persons - To respect each person regardless of class, cultural background, or professional skill.
  • Stablility - To cultivate rootedness and a shared sense of mission.
  • Stewardship - To appreciate and to care lovingly for all the goods of this place.

compiled by the Sisters of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota