Over the past century, Saint Joseph Abbey has become an enduring presence in the Gulf South, etching in small strokes an indelible mark on local and regional history. The abbey has educated many of the region’s civic and religious leaders. It has founded and staffed numerous parishes in the New Orleans and Northlake areas. It has had a significant impact on area culture by sponsoring and promoting programs in both liturgical and secular arts. And finally, Saint Joseph Abbey has maintained and cultivated an abiding spiritual presence in the community, which is manifested in its daily rhythms of prayer.
Day visitors will enjoy tours of the Abbey Church and refectory, which were designated in 2007 as National Register of Historic Places properties. In 1946, Abbot Columban Thuis commissioned the Benedictine artist Dom Gregory de Wit to execute a series of original murals in these buildings. The Dutch monk lived and worked at Saint Joseph for 10 years as he painted the murals with mixtures that could withstand the humid climate. The magnificent results on the walls and ceilings have remained well-preserved and drawn lavish praise from critics and visitors alike.