Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Monastic Family of Bethlehem of the Assumption of the Virgin and of St. Bruno

Fr Ray Blake asked for more information on this community. They were founded in 1950 following the declaration of the dogma of the Assumption. They are strongly inspired by the Carthusians, living an essentially eremitical life. There are communities of both men and women, although there are rather more of the latter. They also have a strong Eastern influence. They have Eastern Rite Office and Roman Rite Mass. The Blessed Sacrament is reserved in each of their hermitages and Eucharistic Adoration is a big part of their charism.

They don't have much of a web presence, but here's a semi-official description:

The Monastic Family of Bethlehem and of the Assumption of the Virgin was founded on November 1, 1950, at St. Peter's Square in Rome, when Pope Pius XII proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The inspiration which a group of French pilgrims then received may be expressed in this way:

That throughout the world there may exist religious communities devoted to silent adoration, striving to live in continual reference to what the Virgin Mary lives in heaven where she has been taken up with her soul and her body, into the glory of the Three Divine Persons, hidden for ever with Christ in God.

The vocation of the communities consists in listening to the Gospel with the Virgin Mary in the heart of the Church, in love, in solitude, through liturgical life, study, work and poverty. In order to fulfil this vocation more perfectly, the Monasteries of Bethlehem receive St. Bruno's fatherhood and his wisdom of life.

The first community of sisters began in 1951. The Monks' Community was founded in 1976, in the Massif of Chartreuse. As of 1996, there were 450 Sisters in 25 monasteries disseminated in eight countries and 45 monks in 3 monasteries.

I'm considering doing the month-long retreat they offer for young adults in July at Les Montsvoirons, near the French-Swiss border. If you're interested in this, or in going on retreat to them, you can write (preferably with s.a.e.) to:

Monastère Notre-Dame de la Gloire-Dieu
Les Montsvoirons
74420 Boëge

The Canadian house is at:

Monastère Sainte Marie Reine des coeurs
3095, chemin Marie Reine des cœurs
J0K 3K0

The American house is:

Monastery Our Lady in Beatitude
393 Our Lady of Lourdes Camp Road
Livingston Manor
NY 12758


Fr Ray Blake said...

How interesting - many thanks.

Emile said...

Just a note, from my experience, the best place to write to,though dont expect a quick reply, in english, for men is
thye may fax your letter to a Brother in Italy or Israel, for English response.
By His mercy, Emile-James

Margaret Clare said...

Praised be Jesus Christ! I went to the Evangelical Month retreat at Les Montsvoirons in 2003. It was probably the most beautiful experience I have ever had in my life! I highly recommend this retreat! It is always in the month of August actually, with the Solemnity of the Assumption, right in the middle. You might want to check out our thread at phatmass, in Vocation Station. I hope you can go this year! It is well worth going! God bless you!


Emile said...


Saturday, 14 March 1998


Margaret Clare said...

Here's a site with many pictures of the Sisters of Bethlehem in Bet Gemal, Israel.


Margaret Clare said...

Here is a page with many pictures of them during different liturgical feasts at the monastery in Bet Gemal, Israel.


Also, here is a page with addresses of their monasteries throughout the world. I believe there are a few new foundations not included here, but this list is pretty complete.


Dr. Robert Crickett said...

I have stayed with the moniales in Curriere twice and in Bet Gamel Israel once. They are very welcoming and although they have only two offices per day on most days of the week residential guests and day visitors are very welcome to participate. Spending time with one or more of the moniales discussing the spirituality of Saint Bruno in practical terms quickly makes one count some of the moniales as close friends. I do an evangelistic ministry for Christ in many countries around the world each year, and I need to feed off their presence in the eremitical life. They are a real blessing to the Body of Christ and to the world. The monks and moniales of the Monastic Family of Bethlehem of the Assumption of the Virgin and of Saint Bruno are literally the accessible Carthusians in the world...God's planting for this season in the growth of the kingdom of heaven. It is a good thing that people can have access to the silent life as it is lived in this Order. I pray you will take the opportunity to stay a while, or even assume the vocation.