Our Story

The Benedictine monks of Conception Abbey began their monastery and committed to lives of prayer and work (Ora et Labora). For more than 150 years, we have come together six times a day for the Liturgy of the Hours and Mass. The rest of the day is devoted to work in service to the Church.

1920s   |  Liturgical Leader

“Already in the 1920s the monastery at Conception was becoming known as a center of monastic liturgical revival.” - excerpt from The Liturgical Movement and Education 

Early 1930s   |  Altar and Home

The monks began to publish Altar and Home, a popular liturgical periodical for the family. The publication was directed to the average Catholic audience to encourage full and active liturgical participation on the part of all the members of the Church. Altar and Home offered a pastoral and pragmatic approach to the liturgy, seeking to bridge the gap between the Sunday liturgical assembly and domestic life.

1933   |  Conception Abbey Press

The genesis of Conception Abbey Press as a publisher was directly connected to the decision to publish Altar and Home.

1950s   |  Introducing Greeting Cards

Subscribers to Altar and Home kept telling the monks at Conception Abbey Press that they could not find liturgical Christmas cards to use. So some designs were developed that incorporated liturgical ideas and modern church art. After attempting to become liturgical consultants for an already-established greeting card company, the monks decided to launch into the Christian greeting cards business.

Early 1970s   |  The Printery House

The apostolate changed its name to The Printery House to distinguish our publishing apostolate from that of Abbey Press, which was the publishing arm of St. Meinrad Archabbey. Altar and Home was no longer published, but Christian greeting cards were featured as the primary vehicles for spreading the Gospel. Printed products were largely produced here at Conception Abbey, and religious art and religious gifts were sourced outside.

1996   |  Praying with Icons

The Printery House made a notable addition to product offerings as they introduced a line of contemporary icons. Featuring art mostly by iconographers from various Benedictine communities, these icons introduced our customers to the practice of praying with sacred images.   

2024   |  Homage to History

Returning to our beginnings, we rename this work Altar + Home by Conception Abbey, as we focus our mission and product. The chief work of the monks of Conception Abbey is prayer. The monastic community gathers to pray in front of the altar for the Church, the people of God, and their intentions. Through Altar + Home, we hope to bring the work God calls us to from the altar into the domestic church of our customers.