Unlike most founders of religious orders, St. Benedict did not notice a particular need for an apostolate in the Church and then found a religious order to fill that need. Instead he felt called to something greater - the living of the Christian life. He hoped to create a community in which all members were working together for the sanctification of the world. It is for this reason that our Holy Father Benedict decreed the primary apostolate of his monks would be the Work of God (the Divine Office). Recognizing that there must always be balance in the life of his monks, he also desired that they engage in various other works. In his Rule, St. Benedict writes of a desire to have the monks be self-sufficient, providing for all their needs within the confines of the monastery. In the end, it was not the type of work that was essential - only that monks engage in work and prayer to glorify God.
Throughout the history of the Church, monks have become known for two principal works: education and missionary activity. The monks of Marmion Abbey continue this great tradition by operating Marmion Academy
on the grounds of the monastery and Priorato y Seminario San Jose
in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. The monks have also committed themselves to aid the faithful of the Dioceses of Rockford and Joliet in pastoral ministry through parish sacramental assistance. The other major work of the Marmion monastic community is Abbey Farms
, which helps to support the activities of the monastery. In addition to the major apostolates of the entire monastic community, members of the abbey are engaged in a variety of other works and ministries. Some of the other activities include: spiritual direction, counseling, university teaching, caring for the abbey grounds, seminary formation, tailoring, military chaplaincy, woodworking, retreats, and writing.