The Abbey of the Genesee is a community of contemplative monks belonging to the world-wide Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (O.C.S.O.) more commonly known as Trappists. We were founded from the Abbey of Gethsemani, Trappist, KY in the spring of 1951.
As described in our Constitutions our community belongs to “. . . a monastic institute wholly ordered to contemplation. The monks dedicate themselves to the worship of God in a hidden life within the monastery under the Rule of St. Benedict. They lead a monastic way of life in solitude and silence, in assiduous prayer and joyful penitence. . .”
Located in the picturesque and historic Genesee River Valley we live close to the rhythms of nature. Within our monastic enclosure are some 1,200 acres of forest, ravines, rolling hills and a meandering creek. Wild life indigenous to Western New York abounds. In addition, we have another 1,200 acres of woods and farm lands which serve to maintain our rural solitude.At the present time there are some 30 of us in the community spanning several generations. Some are ordained to the priesthood but most are not. There is also a list of our brothers who have passed away on our Deceased of Genesee page.
Community – Autumn 2012
Br. David, Br. Felix, Br. Anthony, Fr. Stephen, Fr. Justin, Br. Walter, Br. Brian, Fr. Marcellus, Br. Patrick
Fr. Aelred, Br. Benedict, Br. Christian*, Br. Louis, Br. James, Fr. Jerome, Br. Peter, Br. Bennett*, Br. Gregory,
Br. Augustine, Fr. Eugene
Br. Christian, Br. Theodore, Fr. Isaac, Fr. John, Abbot Gerard, Fr. John Eudes, Br. Paul, Br. Lawrence, Br. Alberic,
Fr. Anthony*, Fr. Francis
*Visiting from our daughter house in Nigeria
Nearly everyone has a share in our common work of baking Monks’ Bread. In addition the brothers help out insofar as they are able, with farming, cooking, maintenance, hospitality, formation and care of the infirm to mention some of the many tasks in a moderate sized community. In addition we maintain three guest houses where individuals and groups can come for several days private retreat in a contemplative environment.
Necessary to the contemplative, monastic vision is creating and maintaining an environment conducive to contemplation. To this end we observe silence, speaking in a limited way when necessary, and exclude the use of radio and television and other irrelevant media. Our well-stocked library of over 50,000 select volumes is designed to foster growth of the interior life. A few select journals, magazines, newspapers and limited Internet use keep us in touch with current events. Prayer for the needs of the world and the Church and for special intentions is an important aspect of our apostolate of prayer.
Those called to our way of life, after suitable formation, commit themselves to obedience, conversion of life and stability in the community for life. It is in such a setting that we gently encourage and support one another in a spirit of fraternal love according to Chapter 72 of the Rule of St. Benedict.
Since there has been a felt need among many of our friends and associates we have formed a lay group affiliated with our community known as the Genesee Lay Contemplatives.