Volume 32, Nr. 2, June 2002 Richardton, ND 58652
Father Yves Chaussy, OSB, noted French monastic historian spent the month of September in our monastery, Our Lady of the Resurrection, and also visited the abbeys of Newark, Spencer, Regina Laudis, and St. John's Abbey in Collegeville. His visit was primarily devoted to the promotion of his work, from which he feels other monastic communities, university libraries, and independent scholars can benefit. At present, his study of seventeenth-century English Benedictines who took refuge in France is being translated into English by Madeleine Beaumont of The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, for eventual publication. We would hope that his works might become more widely available and better known.
This book, English Benedictine Refugees in Seventeenth-Century France, is the translation of a study published in France in 1967 under the title of Les Benedictins anglais refugies en France au XVII siecle (1611-1669). It was originally written alongside another work devoted to a religious reform movement entitled Benedictines et la reforme catholique au XVII siecle (Benedictine Nuns and the Catholic Reform in the Seventeenth Century). Though born of the same research, these two books have varied objectives. The views of the English Benedictines and the French Benedictines with whom they sought asylum were very different. Reconciling those views became a tragic drama with consequences felt even today.
Though the two works have different objectives, each book informs the other. They both deal with the adaptations enacted by the Catholic reformers, resulting in a new monastic configuration vastly different from that of the Middle Ages. This change announced the origin of a modern monastic era, particularly in English monasteries and later in their American counterparts. It was a veritable turning point in the history of monastic life. Ever prolific, Father Chaussy is particularly known for his scholarship on the French Congregation of Saint Maur, cumulating in his immense work La Matricule des religieux de la Congregation de Saint-Maur.
He has had many other historical works published in France. Interested readers may contact the author
There will be an ecumenical conference of monastics and religious entitled, "Religious Community Life: Discovering our Unity in Christ," September 20-24, 2002, on the shores of Cape Cod at the Community of Jesus, an ecumenical monastic community in Orleans, Massachusetts (for more about this community, see the June 2000 AMN). The conference is sponsored by the Inter-Confessional Conference of Religious (CIR).
CIR was founded in Europe in 1977 by Father Martin Da Zabala, a Spanish priest whose vision was to bring together members of religious communities from a variety of Christian denominations to promote mutual understanding, to explore common values, and to pray together for the healing of the broken Body of Christ. CIR has been meeting biennially in Europe since its inception, and has become a significant catalyst for deeper ecumenical understanding and respect, while at the same time forging enduring friendships that have enriched the participants and their communities.
Through this inaugural conference, our hope is to kindle this same vision in North America. Christian monasticism and religious life are intrinsically prophetic, and religious have long been conscious of Christian divisions. By gathering in a lively context of prayer and community life, we look to discover and foster a deeper sense of communion and understanding as we share the commonness of our religious/monastic life. Such a conference provides the opportunity to explore our shared life in Christ, leading us to a deeper respect and appreciation for our differing backgrounds, while promoting Christian unity in a way entirely consistent with our vocations.
Given the importance and relevance of this endeavor, we are hoping to attract participants from Catholic, Episcopal, Orthodox and Reformed backgrounds. We anticipate a rich and enjoyable experience that will be of real value to the whole of Christ's Church. In view of this, we hope that monastic communities will seriously consider sending a representative. Additionally, should you be aware of anyone living a religious life in community who might also be interested in this conference, we would greatly appreciate having their name and address so that we might contact them as soon as possible.
Since space is limited, we must accept returns on a first-come, first-served basis. Cost of the conference is $250. If you would like additional information, please contact me at the
OSB | ABA | Newsletter