Saturday, 31 December 2016

A NEW BI-LINGUAL BENEDICTINE INITIATIVE IN CANADA



As we begin the year of our Lord 2017, the fresh wind of unity in the Holy Spirit is blowing through Canadian Benedictine communities. 

Jane, my wife, and I have been spending part of the Christmas season with our friends at the Abbey of Ste-Marie des Deux-Montagnes in Ste. Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Quebec.  

Jane with Sr Louise, OSB - a painter of beautiful icons
Celebrating the offices and Mass with them is always a joy and particularly so at this time as the abbey has just announced a new initiative for vocations.  

Beginning this year, the abbey is offering, for the first time, a bi-lingual novitiate. English-speaking inquirers, postulants and novices will be welcomed to explore the contemplative Benedictine life, without being required to learn French.
Sacristy at the abbey

For over seventy years, this contemplative abbey of women has been known for Gregorian chant and fine liturgy. They celebrate the liturgy in Latin according to the norms of Vatican II. This is now the only cloistered community of Benedictine nuns in Canada. 

Opening to vocations from the rest of Canada outside of Quebec is a dynamic move encouraged by the leadership of both the men’s and women’s Benedictine communities worldwide. 
L - R:  Sr. Magdalena, OSB,  (extern sister for the Guest House),
Dom Charles Gilman, OSB (Chaplain)

Sr. Louise, OSB, sacristan and icon painter

At the Abbey of Sainte-Marie, Mother Abbess Isabelle, OSB is fluent in both French and English.  She is enthused about the encouragement from her colleagues following a meeting of the heads of Benedictine congregations in Rome this past year. Mother Abbess is joined in her excitement for the initiative by Dom Charles Gilman, OSB, an American bilingual member of the Abbey of Saint-BenoĆ®t-du-Lac currently serving as chaplain to the nuns at Deux-Montagnes.

A young woman who wishes to explore a cloistered Benedictine vocation should contact Mother Abbess Isabelle Thouin, OSB at: info@sm2m.ca



NOTE:  For beautiful hand-painted icons produced at Sainte-Marie see the website of Sister Louise, OSB



Icon of Our Lady and Child by Sr. Louise, OSB

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