- Wednesday, 20 August 2014 17:13
The great Saint Bernard of Clairvaux has his feast day today. The Cistercian abbot and priest, preacher and counselor has left a permanent mark on the Church. His teachings reveal the depth of his love for God, particularly the second person of the Trinity. Moreover, he spoke often of God’s gaze upon us, His mercy for creation. We know from experience that God alone can satisfy our human desire; nothing can replace our desire for God and if we try to replace God with something, it will always eave us frustrated and empty.
From the writings of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux we read: “I am myself a Cistercian; do I therefore condemn the Cluniacs? God forbid! On the contrary, I love them, praise them, extol them. . . .If you ask why . . . I did not choose Cluny from the first, I reply that, as the apostle says…: ‘All things are lawful for me, but all things are not profitable for me.’ It is not that Cluny is not holy and just. It is rather that I am an unspiritual man, sold as a slave to sin. I knew that my soul was so weak that a stronger remedy was necessary. Different diseases call for different remedies; the more serious the illness, the more drastic the remedy.”
- Friday, 10 January 2014 10:05
Trappist Brother Isaac shows some bottles of Spencer Trappist Ale. This is the latest venture of the Cistercian monks in Spencer, MA. They’re hoping to sell 4000 barrels (1.3 million bottles) of their beer.
The Boston Globe has a story here. Pray that the State of CT will allow the beer to be sold in CT soon.
All Cistercian saints and blesseds, pray for the monks, and for us.
- Monday, 16 December 2013 12:10
The Trappist monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey (Spencer, MA) have rolled out their product: Spencer Trappist Ale.
The Rule of Benedict tells the monks and nuns that they have an industry to bring in an income and the Cistercian charism is to attend to manual labor in a more concerted way (even though Benedictine monks ought also be so attentive). For years they have been making Trappist Preserves and designing vestments for the sacred Liturgy through their business the Holy Rood Guild. Time has come for a new venture given the human and economic ecology: the monks have found that they need to reasses their ways of making money given their the available monks. So many of them are old now and not many new recruits.
You can “Like” the Facebook page.
The Trappists are joining other US Benedictines who are making beer like the Abbey of Christ in the Desert (New Mexico).
- Tuesday, 03 December 2013 15:11
The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (the Trappists) announced that,
On October 7, Archbishop Bader of Algiers, with the agreement of the Abbot General and his Council, appointed Father Thomas Georgeon, monk of La Trappe and present Secretary of the Abbot General, as postulator of the cause of Archbishop Claverie and his 18 companions (among them our 7 brothers of Tibhirine). The appointment was approved by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on October 11, 2013.
The 7 monks of the Monastery of Notre-Dame de l’Atlas were killed 26/27 March 1996. The Atlas Martyrs:
- Dom Christian (de Chergé) – prior of the community
- Brother Luc (Paul Dochier)
- Father Christophe (Lebreton)
- Brother Michel (Fleury)
- Father Célestin (Ringeard)
- Father Bruno (born Christian Lemarchand)
- Brother Paul (Favre-Miville).
A 2010 film on the monks was released, “Of God and Men” which was well-received.
You may want to read Christian Salenson’s Christian de Chergé: A Theology of Hope (Cistercian Publications, 2012).
- Thursday, 26 September 2013 09:14
Suscipe me secundum eloquium tuum, et vivam, et non confundas me ab exspectatione mea. (Psalm 118)
Each year at about this time I have published a list of those who have risked everything to follow Jesus Christ more closely as a priest, deacon, monk, friars, nun, or sister. I think it is a good thing to keep this information in front of us, especially as it concerns how each of prays, fasts and financially support vocations in the Church. Our Christian life helps us to see the need for such witnesses and each of us participates through our good example, by inviting others (even ourselves?) to consider serving the Lord and the Church in this “more excellent” way and by assisting by of the good works.
Let us pray with the psalmist, “The just grow tall like palm trees, majestic like the cedars of Lebanon. They flourish in God’s house, green and heavy with fruit” (Ps 92).
“What counts is to be permeated by the love of Christ, to let oneself be led by the Holy Spirit and to graft one’s own life onto the tree of life,” the Lord’s cross, Pope Francis said on July 7.
What follows is an imperfect collection of information; if there are updates, please zap me an email.
American Cassinese Congregation
Other monastic foundations
- Abbey of Regina Laudis: 1 entered the novitiate, joining several others in initial formation
- St Walburga Abbey (Virginia Dale, CO): 5 novitiate
- Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles: 2 sisters profess simple vows, 1 sister received the postulant medal
- Monastery of Our Lady of the Desert (Blanco, NM): 1 postulant and 1 novice
- Monastery of the Visitation, Mont Deux Coeurs (Tyringham, MA): 4 novices
- Bethlehem Priory of St Joseph (Norbertine Nuns): 8 novices
- Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary (Summit, NJ): 2 professed temporary vows, 1 solemn vows; 5 juniors
- Christ the Bridegroom Monastery (Burton, OH): 2 novices tonsured and received the habit (a new Byzantine monastery of women)
- Daylesford Abbey (the Norbertines): 1 professed simple vows, 1 entered the novitiate;
- Dominican friars, Province of St Joseph: 6 friars ordained priests; 9 friars profess solemn vows; 8 professed simple vows and 18 entered the novitiate
- Capuchin friars, Province of St Mary: 2 professed final vows, 4 professed simple vows, 4 invested as novices; 1 ordained to the Order of Deacon and 2 ordained for the Order of Priest
- Opus Dei: ordained 31 to the priesthood
- Fraternity of St Charles Borromeo: 1 ordained deacon, 8 ordained priests; -in Chile: 3 received the cassock at entrance
- Conventual Franciscan friars (of several provinces): 7 professed simple vows; 5 entered the novitiate
- Friars of the Atonement: 1 entered the novitiate
- Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word: 2 professed simple vows, 1 entered the novitiate.
- Order of Friars Minor, Immaculate Conception Province: 2 friars profess simple vows; 1 professed solemn vows; 2 ordained priests; 5 postulants entered
- Franciscans of the Holy Name Province: 4 profess first vows; 1 novice entered; 1 ordained to the priesthood
- The Society of Jesuit ordained 16 men to the priesthood for service in the whole USA; the NY-NEN-MD provinces professed 5 in simple perpetual vows; 5 men entered the novitiate.