Brothers and sisters from all the Irish Cistercian monasteries, and some from England and Scotland, met at Mellifont Abbey, Co. Louth, last Monday, August 19th, for a one-day conference marking the 900th anniversary of the Charter of Charity (the first Cistercian Constitutions). There were two presentations, one by Sr Eleanor of Glencairn on the context and content of the Charter of Charity; the other by Dom Richard of Mount Melleray on how the Charter was implemented over the centuries, and how its principles are reflected in our current Constitutions.
Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, successor of St Malachy who first brought the Cistercians to Ireland, joined us and presided at Mass at midday. Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, Abbot General, preached the homily. The day also included a delicious dinner, a chance to catch up with old friends, and to enjoy the monastery grounds and the fresh air of Collon. We concluded with first Vespers of the Solemnity of St Bernard. All agreed that we should do something like this regularly!
Our thanks to Dom Brendan and the community at Mellifont for hosting the day.
Photo by Br Robert, Bethlehem Abbey (some participants were absent when the photo was taken)
Included: Dom Eamon, Abbot General; Dom Richard and Br John, Mountmelleray Abbey; Fr Aodhan and Fr Liam, Mount St Joseph Abbey, Roscrea; Dom Mark, Nunraw; Sr Maria, Bernardines; Br Andrew,Mount St Bernard Abbey; M. Maureen, Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey–Wrentham, MA; Brother Vianney, Bethlehem Abbey, Portglenone; Dom Brendan and Fr William, Mellifont; Srs Eleanor, Ann, Denise and Robert of Glencairn.