New Melleray: Cistercian Monks Receiving All as Christ and Preferring Christ Above All
Welcome to New Melleray Abbey. We are delighted by your visit to our website.
New Melleray is a community of Roman Catholic monks. We belong to the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, commonly known as Trappists. Disciples of Jesus Christ, we join countless men and women who throughout fifteen hundred years have discovered the Rule of Saint Benedict to offer a challenging and effective way of living the Gospel. Our communal way of monastic life in the Cistercian tradition serves our desire to be wholly oriented to the experience of the living God.
Located southwest of Dubuque, Iowa, New Melleray was founded in 1849 by monks of our Order from Mount Melleray Abbey, Ireland. Like all monasteries, New Melleray Abbey is a school of charity. The monastery is a place where we learn to love God, to love ourselves, and to love each other. Together with its fertile farmland and rugged woodlands our monastery provides us with solitude and precious silence.
Through our guest house and other forms of monastic hospitality we are happy to offer to our brothers and sisters who follow other paths a place where they may find acceptance, peace, and prayer. With Trappist Caskets we support ourselves and supply employment to local men and women by making and selling simple wooden caskets and burial urns of exceptional quality.
Again, welcome to New Melleray’s home page. We invite you to explore our web site to find out more about us. You might start by checking out one of these links.
Thea's Song...Read more> a most remarkable woman, Sr. Thea Bowman, FSPA.
August Information...Read more> U.S. Regional meeting of our monasteries
July Information...Read more> As noted before, the guest house will reopen on October 15th and we will limit occupancy to twelve rooms until the beginning of Advent.
To Pray and to Love...Read more> The initial part of this work is aimed at introducing the roots of monastic living
June Information...Read more> delay the opening of our guest house until October 15th.
Return of the Native...Read more> Our community had the opportunity to welcome the visit of its former abbot, Brendan Freeman, on May 22nd.
Valentine Surprise...Read more> The monks were surprised by the gift of baskets of fruit, found at their places in the refectory.
Covid 19 vaccinations...Read more> On Thursday morning, February 11th, two nurses and a pharmacist from our local hospital pharmacy came out to the abbey to administer Covid 19 vaccines.
Corporation Meeting...Read more> On the morning of Tuesday, February 9, the members of the community met for the annual board meeting of Trappist Caskets.
A Different Kind of Cell...Read more> a very challenging biography.
Information Forum...Read more> The monthly information forum was held on Thursday, January 28th.
Resuming the News...Read more> The celebration of the feast of the founders of Citeaux, (Robert, Alberic, and Stephen) is an appropriate date to resume the publication of news from New Melleray.
A Letter from Father Immediate Peter...Read more> I have asked your Fr. Stephen Verbest to act as my Delegate
No Guests for Now...Read more> During the last two months, Trappists have learned of the postponement of the Regional Meeting of the North American Trappist superiors which was to take place in June and, of all places, at Genesee Abbey in upstate New York.
Garden...Read more> With the warmer days of Spring wafting over the monastery’s organic garden, it’s time to plant vegetables.
Abbey Church Reorganized...Read more> After 50 years praying in a monastery chapel whose interior arrangement hasn't seen the slightest change, it was anyone's guess how Father Kenneth, nearly 90, would react to the new arrangement of our church furnishings.
Pine Caskets Donated to COVID-19 Victims...Read more> Through the years, we have repeatedly been faced with the heartbreaking scenario of a family stricken with grief by the loss of a loved one whose suffering is compounded by the burden and potential embarrassment of limited finances at the time of the death.
Health Precautions Introduced at New Melleray...Read more> Sunday mass was quiet and shorter with none of our usual friends and neighbors coming up to receive communion. The Guest Section was empty.
Retreat With Abbot Austin Murphy OSB...Read more> This was among a number of graphic illustrations shared by Abbot Austin Murphy by way of inviting the monks to reflect on emotions and how we as monastics are sometimes challenged to integrate them into our intense enclosed life together.
Mid-Winter Spring Cleaning For the Birds...Read more> Winter can be a good time to inspect and clean out bird houses, to check on last year's activity, and to ready them for next year's occupancy.
Abbot Richard Purcell Visits from our Mother House...Read more> Abbot Richard Purcell of Mount Melleray Abbey, our Mother House in Ireland, spent a few days with us recently and met individually with brothers to talk about life at the abbey and our plans for the future.
Commission of the Future Meets January 29...Read more> Since the visit of our Father Immediate on 2018, Abbot Mark and 9 other monks have been meeting about every 8 weeks to discuss and plan for New Melleray's future.
Brother Tobias Dies February 2...Read more> "The monks of New Melleray recently celebrated the entrance into eternity of our brother Tobias Shanahan.] Brother Tobias, born in Toledo Ohio, entered the monastery in 1958.
Trappist Caskets Memorial Book...Read more> The first name "Ian" was a child, two years old, grandson of one of our woodworkers on the production line. Since that time, thousands of names have been handwritten into the "Memorial Book"
The Warmth of Other Suns in Our Refectory...Read more> "There is no mistaking what is going on ; it is a regular exodus. It is without head, tail, or leadership.
Seventy Five Year Old Pine and Spruce Tree Line Removed...Read more> A month or so ago, monks taking a walk behind the monastery were surprised to see that a distant tree line which had, over the years, become the shape of the horizon east of the monastery, had vanished.
Christmas Schedule...Read more> The Christmas Vigil will be prayed at 11:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Midnight Mass begins at midnight.
Monastery Friend and Benefactor Laid to Rest...Read more> On November 21, Mr. Alonzo, ("Al"), McDonald, a generous benefactor and friend of the monks of New Melleray, died at age 91.
Half a Century of Monastery Seasons...Read more> In recent weeks, housecleaning efforts involved collection and preservation for our archives of over fifty years of New Melleray's newsletter Monastery Seasons, published by our Fr. Jim O'Connor.
Guest Lecturer Father Mark O Keefe...Read more> How does practice of the virtues inform and support a life of contemplation? This is the subject of our Guest Lecturer this week
Abbot Mark Visits Mount Saint Bernard Abbey...Read more> On November 11, our abbot Fr. Mark returned from an extended visit to our daughter house in Leicestershire England.
Love Awakened by Love - Refectory Book...Read more> Fr. Mark O'Keefe, a monk and priest of St. Meinrad Archabbey, is introducing us to John in his book: "Awakened by Love: The Liberating Ascent of Saint John of the Cross".
Deer Hunting and The Reasons Why...Read more> The month of October brings to mind harvest season, truck loads of corn and soy beans hauled in from the fields, but it also marks the beginning of the annual harvest of some white tailed deer from our forests.
Refectory Book Wright Brothers...Read more> In a famous talk given to engineers in 1901 at a meeting in Chicago, Wilbur Wright, wanted to demonstrate to engineers the challenge of achieving the equilibrium required to keep a flying machine in the air.
Mass of Remembrance 2019...Read more> The father was beaming. Looking at him as we spoke, one might have thought his son had just graduated from medical school with distinction. His son, in fact, had died at 11 years of age
Generous Donation to Child Casket Fund...Read more> On Saturday, September 14, Fr. Alberic received a small delegation of men and women from a community in Illinois who presented him with donations totaling $5,500.00 for the Trappist Caskets "Child Casket Fund".
Trappist Caskets Introduces Urn Campaign...Read more> The first ever internet campaign will be introduced on September 15 to increase public awareness of the finely crafted wooden urns offered by the monks at Trappist Caskets.
Guest Lecturer on Science and Faith...Read more> On September 4 at 6:30 in the evening, Professor David G. Rethwisch PhD will speak to the monastic community on "Science and Faith at a Secular university."
Monks Goats and Land Stewardship...Read more> A recent initiative in New Melleray's Forestry program will put monks and goats in a collaborative relationship as land-stewards, all for the glory of God.
New Melleray's DVD God Alone Broadcast on CFN...Read more> The monks were pleased to learn that the fifty minute documentary about our community, "God Alone", will be broadcast four times on the Catholic Faith Network beginning September 1.
Abbot Mark to Attend Transfer of Assumption Monastery...Read more> While transfer of a monk from one monastery to an other happens from time to time, the transfer of a monastery from one religious institute to another is exceedingly rare - and will take place on August 15 with Abbot Mark and Fr. Stephen in attendance.
Two Monks Attend Cistercian Colloquium in Dallas...Read more> From July 16 to 19, Abbot Mark and Brother Nicholas attended a colloquium on the "Charter of Charity" at "Our Lady of Dallas" Cistercian monastery in Dallas Texas.
New Melleray Celebrates Our 170th Anniversary...Read more> On July 16, the community here quietly celebrated 170 years of witness to the gospel and a life wholly ordered to contemplation in Northeast Iowa.
Current Refectory Book- The Noonday Devil...Read more> "The Noonday Devil: Acedia, The Unnamed Evil of Our Times" by Dom Jean-Charles Nault, has been a vivid reminder to the monks of that mysterious spiritual malady that assails the soul of a monk at mid-day.
Monks Host Lumen Christi Retreat Immersion Experience...Read more> The event was conceived of and publicized by Mr. Tom Levergood, Executive Director of the Lumen Christi Institute, on the campus at University of Chicago, whose mission is to foster awareness and love for the Catholic tradition.
Catholic Blogger Leah Libresco Visits New Melleray...Read more> From June 4 to June 7, the monks of New Melleray were pleased to host Ms. Lea Libresco, (Sargeant) who interviewed three monks concerning our "Child Casket" ministry.
Voices From the Cloister - New Melleray's Recent History...Read more> In preparation for the 170th Anniversary of the founding of New Melleray Abbey on July 16, the community is reading about our history as recorded in various sources.
A Page From Our Forestry Files...Read more> The monks of New Melleray have been faithful stewards of about 1000 acres of verdant forest for close to one hundred and seventy years. In the 1950's laws changed
Monks Host Fr Steve Avella for Lectures...Read more> From May 13 to 16, Fr. Steve Avella, Professor of History at Marquet University, offered lectures to our monastic community
The Shattering of loneliness...Read more> "The experience of loneliness is as universal as hunger or thirst. Because it affects us more intimately, we are less inclined to speak of it.
Monks Host Dr Brian Patrick McGuire...Read more> Beginning on Thursday, the community will host Professor Dr. Brian Patrick McGuire, Professor Emeritus History of Roskilde University for three days. Professor Emeritus History of Roskilde University for three days.
New Melleray Contemplative Experience - 2019...Read more> The New Melleray Contemplative Experienceis a program offered to men interested to experience immersion in the monastic way of life as lived by the Trappists of New Melleray Abbey.
Monks Celebrate the Sacred Triduum...Read more> Spending Holy Week in a Trappist monastery is an intense experience.
Casket Donations On the Rise...Read more> The New Melleray monks and our co-workers at Trappist Caskets are witnessing a recent rise in requests for infant, child, and youth caskets.
New Melleray Monks Make Annual Retreat...Read more> The community of New Melleray is currently making our annual retreat from March 24 to 30.
Arms and the Monk - Our Current Refectory Book...Read more> our current refectory reading is "Arms and the Monk: The Trappist Saga in Mid-America" by M.M. Hoffman.
New Melleray Abbey hires a full time Forester...Read more> In early December, New Melleray Abbey hired Mr. John Schroeder to undertake the management of our extensive forests.
Marjorie Lehmann Appointed Director of Administration ...Read more> The monks are pleased to announce that Ms. Marjorie Lehmann has been appointed Director of Administration at Trappist Caskets.
Monks Receive Appreciative Letters From Grieving Families...Read more> Virtually every day, we receive at Trappist Caskets thank you letters from grieving families we have ministered to.
Monks Celebrate the Solemnity of our Holy Founders...Read more> On January 26, the community of New Melleray celebrated the Solemnity of saints Robert, Alberic, and Stephen, the monks who founded the Cistercian Order in the year 1098.
Monks Host Students from University of Dubuque...Read more> On Friday, January 11, sixteen students and two professors from University of Dubuque were hosted at New Melleray Abbey.
The monks of New Melleray celebrate the Lord's birth...Read more> The monks of New Melleray had a quiet and prayerful Christmas celebration over the past few days.
Ten Thousand Dollars Donated to the Child Casket Fund...Read more> On December 18 the monks of New Melleray received a letter and a check informing us of a $10,000.00 donation made to the Trappist Caskets "Child Casket Fund".
Monks Host Employee Christmas Party...Read more> On Thursday, December 13 the monks of New Melleray Abbey will host the annual Christmas Party for our dear employees.
New Advent Chants Introduced December 2...Read more> New Melleray Abbey introduced a new Monastic Gradual in August of this year and will sing the Advent chants for the first time on Sunday.
Lumen Christi Institute Retreat Experience at New Melleray...Read more> Abbot Mark Scott and a few monks are currently reviewing a proposal offered us by Mr. Tom Levergood of the Lumen Christi Institute in Chicago to host a retreat for students.
Brother Vitus Returns to Nigeria...Read more> Brother Vitus returned to his monastery of Our Lady of Mt. Calvary in the city of Enugu, Nigeria after five years of residence at New Melleray Abbey.
Photo Journalist Prepares Article on New Melleray Abbey...Read more> Mr. Blanchard recently approached Abbot Mark Scott about the possibility of doing an article on the monastery.
Spiritual Conferences by Fr John Markey...Read more> Fr. John Markey, O.P. offered the monks of New Melleray several conferences on the theology of the Holy Spirit.
Leadership Workshop at New Melleray Abbey...Read more> On October 4 a number of monks of New Melleray will take part in an all morning intensive workshop on leadership in the context of our monastic tradition and way of life.
4th Sunday Adoration for Vocations...Read more> Each Sunday at 5 pm we enjoy a period of silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar of the abbey church. On the 4th Sunday of each month we explicitly adore the Lord for the intention of religious vocations. We select our hymns, intercessions, and prayers toward this particular intention. Sunday Vespers concludes with benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. All are welcome to join us.
Weekly - Tuesday - Rosary for Vocations...Read more> Tuesday evening Fr. Mark will lead the praying of the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary in the Guest House Chapel at 7pm for the specific intention of vocations. All are invited to join in. This is a weekly practice, every Tuesday evening at 7pm.
Aug 6 - 2018 Contemplative Experience...Read more> Today four men have joined us for the 2018 New Melleray Contemplative Experience. For two weeks these participants will be immersed in our Cistercian way of life and we will share with you the fruits of monastic spirituality. They will live in the Monastic Center area of the Guest House but will eat the midday meal with us in the monastic refectory. The experience includes three conferences per week and daily manual labor with the monks.
Aug 5 - Breaking the Power of Silence...Read more> Today we are taking a break fromThe Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noiseby Cardinal Robert Sarah and Nicolas Diat. For the next few days, we will read John Nagy's "Love Letter" from the Summer 2018 Notre Dame Magazine. After the letter, we will read the travelogue of our Abbot General's visit to three Italian monasteries this spring.
Aug 31 - Come Away...Read more> Our final "Come Away" retreat for 2018 will be August 31 through September 2. Come Away (Listening and Discerning: A Life Directions Weekend) gives single Catholic men an opportunity to explore the possibility of a religious calling while experiencing the rhythm and balance that lies at the heart of monastic life in general and New Melleray in particular. Participants receive an introductory experience of our contemplative life over the course of a weekend. They have an opportunity to participate in our monastic celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, to hear how some of us were led to monastic life and New Melleray, to share their own journey of seeking God’s will in the midst of life decisions, and to ask questions about our life and practices.