Oct 13 – Six Challenges

New Melleray Abbey Aerial View

Our October Conversation Groups invite us to revisit the six challenges for our community that we collectively identified at the end of Dom Brendan Freeman’s long tenure as our abbot.  We will discuss the measures we have taken to address these issues in the past four years and identify items that we believe need additional attention. We will also share how we have felt invited and empowered to address these challenges as well as instances when we felt dissuaded or prevented from contributing. 

The six challenges confronting New Melleray Abbey identified by our Transition Process touched on the demographics of the community, our desire to share our Cistercian life with new members, styles of interpersonal relationships, the place of Trappist Caskets in our contemplative life, maintaining the quality of our liturgy, and the heritage of our buildings and grounds.  

Conversation Groups (CG)

The purpose of the CGs is to provide a forum where the brothers “come together to listen to the Spirit speaking through one another,” to foster skills of good communication that will promote mutual understanding and trust (Gdlns 2), and to provide the superior with the data he needs for taking decisions with foresight and fairness by the brothers humbly and honestly expressing their views (RB 3)