A solitary calling: Life in a Cistercian abbey

A solitary calling: Life in a Cistercian abbey

Despite smaller numbers entering the cloistered life in recent years, the inhabitants of Mount Melleray and St Mary’s Abbeys in Waterford have found that the pandemic has led more people to think about living a simpler spiritual life

19th June, 2021

Mount Melleray Abbey looms lonesome in the morning mist, slate-grey against the slopes of the Knockmealdown mountains as the visitor approaches, and although the Waterford village of Cappoquin is only five miles behind, the place feels remote and isolated.

About a mile below the abbey, on the left by the bridge over the stream, is a grotto to the Virgin Mary. In the summer of 1985, at the height of the moving statues phenomenon, some...

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