A joyfully Franciscan view of Catholic life, inspired by St. Clare (Santa Chiara) of Assisi!

My Photo
Location: Virginia, United States

Chiara Offreduccio (St. Clare) was born in 1194. It is said that when her mother had Chiara in her womb, an angel appeared to her and said, "your child will be a light that will illuminate the world!" Hence, her mother named the child Chiara, which means "light. As G.K. Chesterton put it, St. Clare was a romantic figure just like Juliet was. However, instead of running away from her family in order to be with an earthly man, Clare gave up everything and ran away from her family for the love of her Savior!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Benedictine Blessings: Stanbrook Abbey, UK

This entry is the first in a series that will focus upon fabulous Benedictine monasteries in the US and UK.

Although the abbey in Rumer Godden's In This House of Brede was fictional, it was based upon two famous Benedictine monasteries in England- Stanbrook Abbey and St. Cecelia's Abbey.

Stanbrook Abbey is located in Worcestershire, England. Below is an excerpt from the English Benedictine Congregation's description of the abbey...

In 1625 nine young English exiles, led by a great great granddaughter of St Thomas More, were professed at Cambrai, Flanders. Marked by More’s love of learning and spirit of hospitality, the new community followed Fr Augustine Baker into the way of an interior search for God based on the training of will, mind and heart. Harmonization of this double inheritance is the challenge which stimulates the community’s continuing development under the Rule of Saint Benedict.

After surviving imprisonment during the French Revolution the impoverished nuns returned to England in 1795. A permanent home was found at Stanbrook in 1838. The nuns are dedicated to the service of God and the Church in the liturgy and in contemplative prayer fed by lectio divina. For some, praise of God and reverence for creation finds expression in art, literary work, music, printing or bookbinding. But for all, the love of Christ is to be found in the ordinary daily tasks of building up a way of life in which past, present and future generations may join with the community’s first abbess, Dame Catherine Gascoigne, in:

the search for that one thing which our Saviour said to be necessary and which contains allthings in itself - My God, to whom to adhereand to inhere is a good thing.

Accommodation in St Mary’s house is available to anyone wishing to spend some time in retreat or reflection in the shadow of the monastery. After a preliminary visit, young women who desire to seek God in monastic life may apply to spend three weeks inside the enclosure.

Stanbrook Abbey's website is very extensive. My favorite feature is an interactive hour-by-hour description of a day in the life of a Stanbrook choir nun. There is also a feature that highlights prominent figures in the history of the abbey. Be sure to check it out.


Post a Comment

<< Home

<< # St. Blog's Parish ? >>