St. Sixtus Abbey was where Roseman began his work on the Continent. In spring and summer of 1978 the artist and his colleague traveled to Benedictine and Trappist monasteries in England and Ireland and back to monasteries in England. At the end of September, the two friends crossed the English Channel to Calais and drove north through farmland of West Flanders to St. Sixtus Abbey, founded in 1831. The Trappist monastery, a compound of brick buildings, comprised the abbey church, the monks' living quarters, workshops, guesthouse, farm buildings, and brewery, which provided the monastery with its main source of income. In European countries where beer is the standard beverage, brewing beer is a centuries-old monastic occupation.