The Portsmouth Institute is headquartered at Portsmouth Abbey, a Benedictine Monastery and School nestled along the banks of the Narragansett Bay in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. The Institute is co-sponsored by St. Louis Abbey and Priory School in St. Louis, Missouri.
Our location in Portsmouth, and our close affiliation with St. Louis Abbey, is at the heart of who we are as an Institute for exploring Catholic thought. First, the Abbeys are themselves centers of Catholic faith and learning, and so enrich and direct the intellectual and spiritual activities of the Portsmouth Institute. Second, our home-base of New England is home to the largest population of Catholics in America– and is, unfortunately, one of the most secular regions in the country. Thus, in order to secure the place of the Church in American life, the Institute must “evangelize in the pews,” and embark on the task of renewing the faith of Catholics in the region. Third, the Institute is headquartered firmly in the Boston-Washington corridor, and is thus poised to have an outsized influence in American culture by educating leaders in academia, business, politics, law, religion, and beyond. And fourth, by supplementing their education, we are able to help form students at Portsmouth Abbey School and St. Louis Priory School at a critical age by teaching them the foundations of the Catholic faith and its role in our society. By educating them at an early age, the Institute can help students establish virtuous habits of living. These students will enter college prepared to defend and evangelize the faith, and, many of them attending elite colleges and universities, will have a disproportionately large impact on American culture.
Though our headquarters are in New England, the Portsmouth Institute, through our co-sponsor in St. Louis, operates on a national level, bringing high-quality programming to the Northeast and Midwest.