The seminary was founded in 1931 by Archbishop William Mark Duke of the Archdiocese of Vancouver. Five monks, including Father Eugene Medved, later Prior and Abbot, were sent from Mount Angel Abbey, Oregon, to British Columbia in 1939 to found a priory and to take over the running of the Seminary of Christ the King, which was then located in Ladner, B.C.

The following year, the monks moved their new priory together with the seminary to Burnaby, near Vancouver, B.C., neighbouring New Westminster. It became a conventual (independent) priory in 1948. In 1953 the Holy See raised it to the status of an Abbey. Prior Eugene was elected as the first Abbot of the new abbey.

The same year, construction began on a new abbey, church, and seminary, designed by the Norwegian architect, Asbjørn Gåthe. The new location was on the outskirts of the town of Mission. The monks began to live on this site beginning in 1954; buildings were gradually added, culminating in the abbey church in 1982. The abbey is located on a hill northeast of the town centre, with a commanding view up the Fraser River valley.

Father Dunstan Massey is the abbey’s resident artist. He has painted several frescoes around the abbey, and he has also created a series of concrete bas-reliefs affixed to pillars inside the church.


Day: Friday

Time: 11:00 am – 1:00 PM

Fee: $7.00 Member/$10.00 Non-member per course

Date: October 3, 2014

Location: * meet at Westminster Abbey, 34224 Dewdney Trunk Rd., Mission, BC.

Must be pre-registered for the tour, and does not include lunch.