Monastery Immaculate Conception
802 East 10th Street Ferdinand, IN 47532
Large format photography & Music Sound Samples
High Speed Internet recommended.
The Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand were founded in 1867 by four young Benedictine sisters who came from Covington, Kentucky, to teach Ferdinand’s German settlers.
In the past 138 years, over 1,000 women have entered the Ferdinand Benedictine community. Their faith, spirit, and energy have led to the establishment of six independent monasteries; in Arkansas, North Dakota, California, Louisiana, Indiana, and Kentucky, and missions in Peru and Guatemala.
At a time when many religious communities have not had new members in years, the Ferdinand Benedictine community has averaged almost three new members yearly for the last 12 years. The community’s success in gaining new members has been featured in print and broadcast media internationally, including a Wall Street Journal article and an episode of ABC’s “Nightline.”
The monastery’s architectural magnificence has earned it the name “Castle on the Hill.” The heart of the monastery is the church, listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The dome of the monastery church rises 87 feet from the floor and is 32 �0�10�0�17 feet in diameter. Angels are depicted in the 16 stained glass windows around the dome. This angel motif is evident throughout the church; 94 angels have been counted. The architect seems to have taken a cue from the Rule of St. Benedict, in which Benedict says, “…we gather to worship and praise God in unison with the angels.”
Organ Details: from the 1993 Organ Historical Society handbook edited by Alan Miller Laufman
Founded in 1840 by Rev. Joseph Kundek, the town of Ferdinand was named after the Emperor of Austria. St. Ferdinand Church, built in 1847, once housed an 1856 Joseph Prante organ. Four Benedictine Sisters arrived in Ferdinand in 1867; by 1886 they have moved from the village to a new convent and chapel designed by A. Druiding. In 1914, they engaged architect Victor Klutho of St. Louis to present plans for enlarging the complex. Instead, he presented a design for a large new facility; construction began in 1915, and after delays occasioned by the First World War, it was completed and dedicated June 20, 1924.
Research thus far has not revealed what organ may have been in the Druiding chapel when it was first built. The Bennet Organ Co. of Rock Island Illinois lists a two manual 9 rank tubular pneumantic op. 905 of 1922 for Immaculate Conception Convent. The present magnificent church originally housed a 3 manual 35 rank electro-pneumatic instrument built by the Bennett Organ Co., op. 929 of 1924. In 1966, it was giving serious problems. Sister Theresita, Director of Music at the Convent, stated at the time that “the instrument had not been repaired since it was bought. Almost from the beginning (she said), some of the organ stops were unusable, and in recent years the tone had become even poorer.”
During 1966 & 1967 Friar Eugene Ward built a new organ (that you hear below), using some of the Bennett pipework and other parts, assisted by novices at the Convent. Most of the principal chorus, upperwork, and reeds are new.
The Sisters changed the name of the Convent to Monastary Immaculate Conception in 1991.
Swell to Pedal 8′
Great to Pedal 8′
Choir to Pedal 8′
2′ Block Flote
Swell to Swell 16′
Swell to Swell 4′
8′ Rohr Flote
4′ Koppel Flote
2 2/3′ Nazard
1 3/5′ Tierce
Choir to Choir 16′
Choir to Choir 4′
Swell to Choir 16′
Swell to Choir 8′
Swell to Choir 4′
4′ Spitz Flote
Great to Great 4′
Swell to Great 16′
Swell to Great 8′
Swell to Great 4′
Choir to Great 16′
Choir to Great 8′
Choir to Great 4′
Click the play button (right facing arrow) to listen after the file begins to download.
Fugue in E Flat Major – (The Saint Anne Fugue) by J.S. Bach
performed at Monastery Immaculate Conception, by Theresa Bauer, February 6, 2006
If you cannot play the file above, you may need to install the QuickTime Plug In.
To get a free version of Quicktime visit Apple.com’s Quicktime
If you have already installed QuickTime Player on your computer, and think you have the Plug In, check the folder for your browser application. Inside this folder will be a folder called “Plugins”. If you do not see a QuickTime Plugin in this folder, but you do have QuickTime on your computer, you will need to go to the Quicktime application folder, make a copy of the Plugin that is there and put it in the browser application plugins folder.
This way Quicktime will play the mp3 files posted above and will not mess with your other computer settings.