About St. Joseph’s Benedictine Priory
St. Joseph’s Benedictine Priory, having its mother house at Makkiyad, belongs to the Sylvestrine Congregation, a monastic reform movement in the Benedicitne monastic world that took place in the eastern-central Italy in the early 13th century. The Sylvestrine Congregation which was confined to Central Italy opened its first missions in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) in 1845. The Indian mission was opened by the monks of Indian origin who had joined the monastery in Sri Lanka. The first monastery in India was established in the year 1962, at Makkiyad, in the Diocese of Calicut, Kerala.
Right from the beginning, this monastery attracted many young men and soon this young foundation began to flourish. The spectacular growth in number of the new foundation paved the way for its constitutional recognition as a ‘Major Priory’ of the Congregation, according to the existing Constitutions with, of course, other limitations. Later on, in the re-organization of the Priories as a result of the Constitutional revision of 1983, it was raised to a ‘Conventual Priory’, equivalent to a Province of other Religious Institutes. This was called St. Joseph’s Priory of Makkiyad. In the course of years other dependent monasteries were started in order to take care of the formational needs and to meet the apostolic requirements of the country. The Dependent Monasteries are: St. Sylvester's Monastery, Vanashram, in Bengaluru, Benhill Monastery at Iritty and Ashir Sadan Monastery at Teok, Assam. Out of this Priory grew two new autonomous Priories: Navajeevan Priory, Vijayawada and Jeevan Jyothi Priory, Shivpuri.
The main activities of St. Joseph’s Priory include St. Joseph’s Institute of Philosophy, Shanthi Niketan Benedictine Retreat Centre, Holy Face High School, Benhill English School, Ben Garden School, Personal Retreat Ministry, Outdoor Retreats, apart from regular confessions and spiritual directions.