Meet the Benedictine Monks Dedicated to Perpetual Adoration

As one monk put it, ‘I go before Jesus, and he takes care of the rest.’

Adoration is round-the-clock during Lent, when local townsfolk also sign up for hours.
Adoration is round-the-clock during Lent, when local townsfolk also sign up for hours. (photo: Courtesy of Silverstream Priory)

The Eucharist is the very heartbeat of the Church, pulsing the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ into the souls of her faithful members. It is the force behind religious vocations, with many orders placing adoration at their center, impelling them as God’s servants and evangelizers.  

An order of monks that is dedicated fully to this focus is Silverstream Priory, Benedictine Monks of Perpetual Adoration, housed in a converted old Irish manor nestled deep in the fields and surrounding forest in County Meath, 20 miles north of Dublin. 

Eighteen men with the title of “Dom” — a diminutive of the word Dominus, akin to “Sir” in monastic terms — belong to this branch of the Benedictines serving in the diocese under the bishop of Meath, Ireland. They are dedicated to perpetual adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament in a spirit of reparation, particularly for priest scandals. 

This dedication persists even as the community has navigated challenges, including a 2021 report on a then-open investigation into Dom Mark Kirby. The investigation, despite concluding with no finding of misconduct, led him to step back from the monastic leadership for the sake of his health and “for the continued growth of the community.”

Three of the monks, including the prior, spoke with the Register about their devotion to the Eucharist for the healing of the Church. 


Prior Dom Basil

Prior Dom Basil Mary MacCabe, appointed in June 2022 to succeed Dom Mark, noted that many men are inquiring about the order. They are moving forward with five more aspirants joining for a three-month trial, where they will join the monks and priests — who include 12 Americans, one Canadian, three Irish, one Australian and one French/British — as they begin their day with the Divine Office at 4:30 a.m. and Mass at 9 a.m., take shifts in adoration until 9 p.m., and tend a vegetable garden, fruit trees and animals throughout the day.

Silverstream Priory
The Benedictine Monks of Perpetual Adoration live and pray in County Meath, 20 miles north of Dublin.(Photo: Courtesy of Silverstream Priory)


Silverstream combo
A Eucharistic life(Photo: Courtesy of Silverstream Priory)

The monks continue holding to the use of Latin and Gregorian Chant, celebrating the Divine Office in its traditional Benedictine form and Holy Mass in the Usus Antiquior of the Roman Rite, giving their lives in love and sacrifice for the Church and for the faithful. Adoration is round-the-clock during Lent, when local townsfolk also sign up for hours. As their community grows, the goal is perpetual adoration, 365 days a year. 

Their roots began as a project of Benedictine Abbot Celestino Maria Colombo (1874-1935) inspired by Mother Catherine Mectilde de Bar, a 17th-century Benedictine sister who sought to establish a house committed to ceaseless prayer before the Most Holy Sacrament in a spirit of reparation. Silverstream was founded in Ireland in 2012, moving from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where it began a few years earlier. 

The monks of Silverstream
The monks of Silverstream(Photo: Courtesy of Silverstream Priory)

Like the other monks at Silverstream, Prior Basil felt called to become a part of that dream. “I came back to the faith at around 33 years old,” he recalled. He attended college in England, studying archeology, and then went to France, becoming a personal assistant for five years to a wealthy businessman. Despite yachts, travel, many houses and living in great luxury, his boss admitted to a great emptiness and unhappiness. 

It was in front of a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes in southern France, while people were praying the Rosary, that then-layman MacCabe said a huge grace filled him. “I started to cry and understood that I needed to change my life and get back to God.” He was drawn to become a Benedictine monk after working at a French monastery; then, while attending an Ignatius retreat, a spiritual director asked him, “Are you ready to follow Christ?” Family and friends were skeptical that he would be satisfied with such a life. 

“But something was leading me there,” he said. “I went back to this monastery every month until, at 35, I asked the abbot if I could enter. In 2004, I entered the monastic life.”

He became a priest at Abbaye Saint-Joseph de Clairval in Flavigny-sur-Ozerain. He had attended retreats at Silverstream, falling in love with the community. “For some reason, the bishop appointed me there,” he said. “It was a sign of Providence.” 

Serving others as a prior is a joy, he explained. And adoring Christ keeps that mission, and everything else, in focus. “There is nothing more nourishing than to be in front of Our Lord,” he said. “It puts me at peace. My life has a sense of reparations for priests but also reparation for my own sins and the rest of the world.” 

“Contemplative life is an oasis, and it is a lung through which the Church breathes,” Prior Basil said. “When you have a parish priest who is tired, often on their day off, they go to monasteries to rest and recharge. We spend time before the Blessed Sacrament exposed; then, as we go out, [making] rosaries or working in the garden or with wood or making candles, it’s all prayer. That’s the Benedictine way: a constant prayer all the time. That is the story of monks, who are instruments of God to uplift souls and be like fountains but not seeing where the water is going and who is going to be refreshed by this water. It’s very fruitful but can be very dry. It’s not a matter of feelings that what we do bears fruits. We are God’s instruments.”

 Silverstream Priory monks
Monks at prayer(Photo: Courtesy of Silverstream Priory)


Dom David

Dom David Watters, who has been at the monastery for four years, grew up in Waco, Texas, and Katmandu, Nepal, the son of Protestant missionaries. His older brother converted after studying Great Books and Church history and led him into the Church.

“Eucharistic adoration was a big part of my conversion,” Dom David said. “For any convert, it’s something they’ve never known before.” In college, a research paper about Gregorian chant by the founder of Silverstream Priory led him in their direction. “I was blessed with my family, as missionaries,” Dom David explained. “We took our faith very seriously, but going that step further, and discovering the Most Blessed Sacrament, is a great grace.” 

For those who don’t understand the monastic life, Dom David explained that it doesn’t make sense without faith. “We live our life with the sole end of God,” he said. “If we had a bad day but spent time with God and the Divine Office and in adoration, we still had a completely successful day. It’s tremendously freeing. According to the Church’s tradition and theology and teaching on monastic life, giving everything totally to God means it’s really his work. We are not necessarily on fire all the time, but the work is getting in. Souls are being saved. I go before Jesus, and he takes care of the rest.”

Silverstream monks main
The monks are dedicated to prayer.(Photo: Courtesy of Silverstream Priory)

An instrument cannot be constantly in use, however, he pointed out, so rest and recreation are also a part of monastic life. To outsiders looking in, he admits, “Monasticism is not a normal thing; it’s a supernatural thing: people from different cultures living together looking for God.”

Dom Aelred

Dom Aelred Tillotson, originally from British Columbia, became bored with life despite a seemingly bright future studying business in college. “It started feeling like it was not going to be fulfilling,” he explained. By his third year in college, he could not shake a heavy darkness that felt like it was pulling him deeper and deeper into a pit. One day, in desperation, he called out, “Jesus!” 

Jesus came, filling him with peace and love beyond anything he had ever experienced. It led to a vocation, entering seminary in British Columbia for three “good” years, before discerning a call to go deeper in relationship with Jesus in adoration; he found his home at Silverstream five years ago. 

“During adoration, we sit at the feet of Our Lord,” explained Dom Aelred. “Most of the time is passed in ordinariness, but to go before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament … we can say great things and have wonderful thoughts, but that is not what matters. We are still, and we are silent. ... But with everything with Our Lord, there is life — new life is breathed into the world and into his Church.”

“If we could only see what goes on in adoration,” Dom Aelred noted, “we would see the immense good that comes into our own life and our family and out into the world when someone comes to adoration and loves Jesus. If we could do a survey in heaven and ask if anyone regrets a single moment in front of Our Lord, there would be no one.”


The monks offer a glimpse into their life, and you can join them for livestreaming vespers and submit your prayer intentions.

The Benedictine Monastery of San Jose in Costa Rica's Diocese of Cartago, which was canonically closed Nov. 7, 2021.

Costa Rican Diocese Orders Canonical Closure of Benedictine Monastery

The diocese said that while it has closed the monastery and thus ended its ecclesial mission, it is aware that the monastery was also established as a civil association enrolled in the Civil Registry and so “it belongs to them to determine its future as a civil association.”