The History of Maple Tree Childcare Center
Benedictine communities are the oldest of all Christian religious communities in the western world. St. Benedict established the first monastery in the 6th century in Italy. Since then, Benedictines have lived in monastic communities focusing upon prayer and work.
The Benedictine community of St. Paul's Monastery was founded in 1948 when 178 Sisters left St. Benedict's Convent in St. Joseph, Minnesota and founded a new community in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. For 17 years, the Sisters lived at 301 Summit Avenue in St. Paul. The growth of the community made it necessary for the consideration of a larger home.
The Sisters purchased land in Maplewood as the site for their new facility. As requested by Archbishop John Gregory Murray, a high school was constructed first, opening its doors in 1958. The monastery building was completed in 1965, and the Sisters moved into their new home in January of that year.
The Benedictines are involved in a variety of ministries including spiritual direction, organizing retreats, pastoral ministry, liturgy, social service, education, nursing, care of the elderly, and child care. Prayer is at the center of their communal life and these ministries are an outgrowth of their intercessions.
As the 1990's approached, the Sisters felt the need to respond to the critical shortage of quality childcare in the Maplewood area. The community members believed that high caliber care was critical to the healthy development of young children, and thus the Maple Tree Childcare Center (MTCC) was established in the fall of 1991.
The center is overseen by a board of directors consisting of Benedictine Sisters and lay people who are knowledgeable regarding the field of early childhood education. The day-to-day operations are supervised by an on-site director. Maple Tree is open year-round and offers flexible scheduling for clients. The center primarily serves families living or working in Maplewood and surrounding communities.