Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey is home to close to fifty nuns of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, more commonly known as Trappistines. The Order was founded in 1098 at Citeaux, France and is now comprised of monks and nuns who live in over one hundred and seventy monasteries throughout the world.
Our particular Abbey, dedicated to our Blessed Mother, was founded in 1949 by our Irish Mother-house, St. Mary’s of Glencairn, and we in turn have given birth to three other U.S. based communities since then: Our Lady of the Mississippi, Iowa, Santa Rita Abbey, Arizona, and Our Lady of the Angels, Virginia.
We are religious women who have dedicated our lives to prayer and contemplation. The essence of our consecrated life is monastic, based on the Rule of St. Benedict. In our daily living, liturgy, lectio divina and labor are delicately balanced, providing the dynamism for continual prayer and mindfulness of God’s presence in our lives and in our world.
Liturgy, the Work of God, well known as the Divine Office, culminates in our daily Eucharistic celebration. Seven times each day we gather together to offer praise and thanksgiving to God. Through this prayer of the Church we enter into communion with all the peoples of our world and in so doing participate in the mission of the Church for God’s people.
Lectio divina, sacred reading, primarily of Holy Scripture, is a heart to heart encounter with the Living Word. By being attentive and open, we listen to the truly present God, who speaks to us as we speak to Him.
Our Rule asks that we live by the work of our hands. Thus, work is necessary not just for our livelihood but for our life. Our labor, offered to God for blessing, is often simple and ordinary. It affords us the opportunity to be mindful of God, share in His creation and be in solidarity with the laboring poor.
Trappistine Quality Candy, our candy making industry, allows us to be self-supporting. Through this work we are able to share with the poor the many blessings we have received. It also supports the communal life, giving Sisters the opportunity to work together for the common good. Through both prayer and effort, community members regardless of age can actively participate in this ‘labor of love’.
We maintain a spirit of silence and solitude as we live out the vows we profess - obedience, fidelity to the monastic way of life which includes poverty and chastity, and stability to the place and community of profession. In monastic profession we give and consecrate our lives to God to ‘render the divine majesty a service that is at once humble and noble’. Constitution 2
Despite the necessary physical separation that fosters our life of prayer, we are not separated from the Spirit that binds us to love one another. We welcome you throughout the day to our life of liturgical prayer, and we extend our deep gratitiude to all who visit and pray with us. We welcome, too, your requests for prayer.
Through the powerful and gracious intercession of Mary, our Mother and Queen of Citeaux, we seek to be united in love to Her Son who, as Heart of the created universe, is our Way, our Truth and our Life. Please know you remain in this love.