The Abbey of Gethsemani gave birth to New Clairvaux Abbey when the first group of pioneer monks were sent by train over to California in 1955. One of our monks had the recent opportunity to be at our historic mother monastery which is the first Cistercian (Trappist) monastery to be founded in the United States. She's been around for 150 years and we are blessed to still have her around to inspire and spur us on in our own monastic living and witness to the ageless love of Christ.
Our abbot made a follow-up visit to our daughter-monastery in Nicaragua this past week. On a previous blog post, we featured only 2 pictures of the exterior of Monasterio Nuestra Senora de la Paz (Our Lady of Peace Monastery) plus a jar of their delicious marmalade which the sisters produce and sell to distributors. Here, we feature both the charming simplicity of their monastic buildings and the rustic beauty of the surrounding hills and volcanoes. You might even catch a glimpse of those giant marching ants, hairy tarantulas, rainbow-colored geckos and loud croaking frogs that our abbot has learned to befriend over the years. Then again, he may already have exterminated them all, at least the ones that tried to crawl into his suitcase. But our sisters in Nicaragua continue to thrive and have improved the quality of their product.