Letter to our friends

Pentecost 2009

Truth and courage seem to be the foundations of a future grounded in faith. Benedict XVI practices this art with perseverance. He will visit the Czech Republic in September. We will pray for the success of his trip. We hope that many Czech Christians will want to see the Holy Father.

Dear Friends,

Thanks to your faultless generosity, the miracle has happened. We are about to complete our guesthouse. After so much talk about it, this time it will definitely open its doors in the early summer (for more information on the Guesthouse, click). We will then get ready for the construction of our workshops. At Sept-Fons, the community was able to celebrate Holy Week and the Easter Octave in the renovated church before withdrawing, for some more time, to the temporary chapel until all the work will be finished. The work is in full swing all around (sacristy, guests’ entrance, chapels, finishing work), but calm reigns within the monastery. Will we stop writing to you once this work has been completed? Not to worry! (To understand our position on generosity, click). An important bond has been forged, and this seems to have encouraged a few of you, believers or not, to trust in the Christian faith. This is not really our doing, but we are delighted by it. I carefully read your letters, even if I am rarely able to answer. They remind me that your concerns are similar to ours and what counts for you is what counts for us also.

Fifteen years ago this winter, I visited the Czech Republic for the first time, accompanied by the Father Prior of Sept-Fons, a native of Brno, who was then a twenty year old novice. For a Frenchman, it was very moving to cross a frontier of ruined buildings that had not changed since what we called the Iron Curtain. We stopped in the first village to say Vespers. The church was being repaired. Entering the town of Plzeň, I said to myself: “We are here, in Europe.” There was something very real about this impression. The country was tasting the first years of exhilarating freedom. Accompanying economic and cultural progress was going to transform it rapidly. This year, after Easter, I returned to a suburb of the same town, in Vepernice, to the cabinetmaker who is completing the crucifixes for our guesthouse. He lives in the former presbytery, a vast baroque house, elegantly restored, next to a church in perfect condition. His wife – they have five teenage daughters – told me that the parish only had twenty practicing Catholics: the seven in the family and thirty other women, all old – and this for a small town of a few thousand inhabitants...

We could be the last witnesses of a long-gone past. But no! Christians have always been the salt of the earth, and although we may have forgotten it recently, to play this role, we need to accept a sort of break, not with the modern world or with the people with whom we live, but with certain attitudes and values that reject the elementary dignity of humankind and the message of the Gospel. Truth and courage seem to be the foundations of a future grounded in faith. Benedict XVI practices this art with perseverance. He will visit the Czech Republic in September. We will pray for the success of his trip and will send a few brothers to Prague Cathedral for his meeting with the priesthood. We will also organize a bus for our neighbors in Dobrá Voda who would like to meet him. We hope that there will be many Czech Christians who will want to see the Holy Father. We need to support this courageous man who, with humility, states loud and clear the truth of the Gospel.

Although Cistercian monasticism was born in Christendom, there have been other periods in history when fervent monks, in a resistant environment, have had a decisive influence. This is the secret apostolic fruitfulness of our contemplative vocation. When the religious history of our times is written, will it be said that the monks of the twenty-first century faithfully played their part? Will it be said that Christians accomplished their mission? Other than the influence of our prayer, we have no control over the evolution of society. But we can have an influence, with God’s help, on the life we lead. What a young person sees in our churches is decisive. What that young person discovers when welcomed in our families and our monasteries is crucial. The light that young people are looking for is the sincerity of their elders. No, not a subjective sincerity that excuses everything and approves of the liberties they are used to, but a sincerity that is uncompromisingly modeled on the Gospel whose truth they want to observe, even if imperfectly experienced, in the lives of their elders. What a responsibility!

The father of Brother Daniel is still in a coma, although very slightly better. We visit him from time to time. His wife remains as courageous as ever and came to the monastery recently. Life is thus being lived, and is therefore beautiful.

You may count on our prayers.

Yours sincerely,

Fr. M.-Samuel, prior

We seek to increase the distribution of our products

In a book published in France, Les cent meilleurs aliments pour votre santé et la planète (The One Hundred Best Foods for Your Health and the Planet), we were pleasantly surprised to find our organic old-style mustard. P. Georges, our monk responsible for finance, is looking for retailers who might be interested in selling our mustards and skin repairing cream. If you have any ideas, do not hesitate to contact him either by mail or email. Many thanks.

Klášter Nový Dvůr, Dobrá Voda 20, CZ – 361 04 Toužim, celerar@novydvur.cz

The guesthouse at Nový Dvůr
Generosity fosters generosity

February 2009
September, 2nd 2014
Autumn 2013
July 5, 2013
March 10, 2013
A few weeks before Christmas 2012
September 2, 2012, Solemnity of the Dedication of Novy Dvur
Whit Sunday 2012
January 11, 2012
September 30, 2011, Feast of Saint Jerome
May 1 2011
September 2 2010
May, 2010
January 29, 2010
February 2009
May, 2008
February 2, 2008
September 2, 2007
July 5, 2007
September 2, 2006
March 25, 2006
February 2, 2006
September 2, 2005