Benedictines

The Order of Saint Benedict (Benedictines) is a Monastic order of men and women who live according to the rule of Saint Benedict of Nursia, written after founding his Monastery at Montecassino. The Order is made up of  self-governing Abbeys who group themselves into 'Congregations' which are united to the Benedictine Confederation, whose head (the Abbot Primate) resides at the Abbey of St Anselm in Rome (Sant'Anselmo). We have houses belonging to three different Benedictine Congregations: the English Benedictine Congregation, the Solesmes (French) Congregation, and the Subiaco-Cassinese (Italian) Congregation.

Our Diocese is home to four houses which follow the rule of Saint Benedict: three for Monks and one for enclosed Nuns. Benedictine Abbeys are governed by their Abbot or Abbess, and are not subject to the jurisdiction of the local Bishop. Information on each of the four Benedictine Abbeys in our diocese can be found below:

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St Cecilia's Abbey, Ryde, Isle of Wight

Order of St Benedict, Solesmes Congregation

Abbess: Sr Ninian Eaglesham OSB

The nuns of St Cecilia's in Ryde live a traditional monastic life of prayer, work and study in accordance with the ancient Rule of St Benedict. At the heart of their life is the praise of God, expressed through the solemn celebration of the sacred liturgy. This hidden life of prayer is a gift of God. 

St Cecilia's belongs to the Solesmes Congregation (previously known as the French Benedictine Congregation) founded in 1837 by Dom Prosper Guéranger at Solesmes Abbey  in the North West of France.

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St Michael's Abbey, Farnborough

Order of St Benedict, Subiaco-Cassinese Congregation

Abbot: Rt Rev Dom Cuthbert Brogan OSB

St Michael’s Abbey is a little monastic community on the Hampshire-Surrey border in the south of England, about thirty miles from London. The Benedictine life has been lived here since 1895. The community is small and young. The monks live a traditional life of prayer, work and study according to the Rule of St Benedict. At the heart of their life is the dignified celebration of the daily round of the Mass and Divine Office.

St Michael's belongs to the Subiaco-Cassinese Congregation, which is based in two of St Benedict's early monasteries (Subiaco and Monte Cassino) in Italy.  

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St Mary's Abbey, Quarr, Isle of Wight

Order of St Benedict, Solesmes Congregation

Abbot: Rt Rev Dom Xavier Perrin

The monks of Quarr Abbey are a community of men who give their lives in search of God in prayer and work according to the Rule of Saint Benedict. Though the current Abbey was built in 1907, there has been a history of Benedictine monastic life on the Isle of Wight for over nine centuries.

 

"The monastery is about fullness of life in Christ. Monastic life has its discipline, inspired by the Gospel, but this is to remove hindrances to joy. This joy is the joy of God Himself, which nothing can touch."

Quarr belongs to the Solesmes Congregation (previously known as the French Benedictine Congregation) founded in 1837 by Dom Prosper Guéranger at Solesmes Abbey  in the North West of France.

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Douai Abbey, Woolhampton, Berkshire

Order of St Benedict, English Benedictine Congregation

Abbot: Rt Rev Dom Geoffrey Scott

The Monks of Douai have their origins in Paris, where their first Abbey was founded in 1615. During the French Revolution, they moved to Douai in Flanders, before returning to England in 1903 and establishing their current monastery in Woolhampton. 

Douai Monks serve in Parishes throughout England, and the monastery provides space for retreats, conferences, and study days as well as concerts in the Abbey Church. The primary work of the monks is regular public celebration of the liturgy in the Abbey Church.

Douai Abbey is a member of the English Benedictine Congregation, the oldest of the existing Benedictine Congregations, founded in 1216. It existed for several centuries in hiding and in exile before re-establishing monasteries in England in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

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