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Bethlehem Abbey Cistercian Family

An eCommunity gathered around the monks of the contemplative Cistercian community at Our Lady of Bethlehem Abbey, Portglenone, in Ireland.

Welcome to Bethlehem Abbey Cistercian Family!

The Bethlehem Abbey Cistercian Family is a community which is gathered around the monastic community of Cistercian monks which lives, works and prays at Our Lady of Bethlehem Cistercian Abbey in Portglenone, Northern Ireland.  Its members are those who participate, in whatever way they can, in the spiritual tools, teachings and practices of the Cistercian monastic way, an ancient way of Christian living which expresses a contemplative living out of the Gospel.  In doing so, we recognise that the wisdom of Cistercian monasticism has something to offer us all as we seek Christ sincerely through prayer, Scripture, service of our neighbour and a deep desire to seek God in all things.


25 April 2021

Saint Joseph: The Dream of Vocation

“With a Father’s Heart…”

With his Apostolic Letter issued on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and entitled “With a Father’s Heart”, Pope Francis opened a special year of veneration and reflection on the figure of St Joseph, foster father of Christ, and Patron of the Universal Church.

Click Here to Access the Apostolic Letter

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The contents of these reflections offer teachings on fundamental aspects of Cistercian monastic life and try to provide a means for you to make these teachings part of your life.  The articles present pathways which allow for further reflection on your part – ultimately, with each reflection, the invitation is made to seek God deeply in your own life. Perhaps this will happen by a more attentive praying of Sacred Scripture; or by the practice of spiritual tools; or by a considered living into greater silence, or solitude, or stillness; or through some of the many other tools which monastic contemplative life has developed over the centuries.

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To recognise a vocation is to welcome a specific way of life which is a fundamental expression of who I am and how I am called to live.  In Christian terms we rejoice to know that God has a plan for each of us – the living out of our vocation is the discovery of that plan, personal to each of us and offered to each of us by the God who has created us.  In a way, when we accept our vocation and begin to live it out we make sense of who we are and see how God has called us to work in his kingdom now, and for its fulfillment, in eternity.

To discover that I am called to be a Cistercian monastic is to discover a deep calling to live Gospel discipleship in a special school of love.

Prayer Requests and Intercession

Prayer Requests and Intercession

One of the characteristics of a Cistercian’s life is to live constantly with one’s face turned toward the Father in prayer.  In this we try to imitate Christ closely, whose entire life was a prayer of sacrifice in obedience to the will of the Father.  In the practice of this awareness of God present to us we become intercessors, carrying the prayers and needs of others to the Father, through Christ, and with Mary’s help.  We are grateful for this aspect of our life – to be able to pray for those who ask it of us.

We invite you to send us your prayer requests, which we remember in the midst of our community prayer and in our prayer alone. We place your intentions in God’s Mother’s hands, since she never ceases to accompany us as we approach her Son.

Bethlehem Abbey Cistercian Family

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