Fire of 1927

Abbot Jerome KodellThe Arkansas Democrat Gazette has a feature called “Arkansas Postcard Past” which publishes picture postcards from the state’s earlier history. Occasionally a scene from Subiaco Abbey will appear, often a photo of the Abbey in the late nineteens and early twenties of the last century, after the original quadrangle had been completed. A picture taken just a decade or so later would have shown a much different scene, the charred remains of the surviving portion of the Abbey after the devastating 1927 fire.

Many of the monks who were mainstays of the Abbey when I entered had lived through the era of the great fire either as students in the Academy or as young monks. This history and memories come to the fore as I write to our many friends about our annual Abbey Appeal. When we look around Subiaco today, we see a scene that looks like a continuation of the picture postcards of 1916 or 1922.

But we know that between that time and this there was a terrible destruction, in which at least two-thirds of the Abbey buildings disappeared and there was widespread doubt about the ability of the Abbey to recover.  It was thanks to the prayer and faith and hard work of the monks and their friends that Subiaco was able to rebuild, and all along those are the forces which continue to sustain us in our ministries:

Ministries of Subiaco Abbey

Farm Work
Parish Ministry
Elderly Monk Care

We come to you, our friends and co-workers of this generation, asking your help as together we continue the journey begun here in 1878, that Subiaco’s ministry in God’s vineyard may thrive for many generations to come.

Your partnership is essential in our missions. Please prayerfully consider your gift and use the “Paypal” button below to be taken to our Paypal Account for a safe and secure donation by credit card or paypal account. For additional information contact Steve Wilmes, Director of Development, at 479.934.1027 or


Sincerely In Christ,

Abbot Jerome Kodell, O.S.B.