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Monastic Family of Bethlehem


John Paul

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The monastic family of Bethlehem is a new order, (60 years is considered new in an ancient church ;) ) that leans strongly on the heremetic tradition of the Carthusians. In their liturgy they use aspects of the byzantine tradition (icons and chantstyle). There are both sisters and brothers. You can easily read more about their life in the hermitages, their artwork, their spirituality etc on their website. 

I have stayed in one of their European convents for a retreat and i really enjoy their chant, artwork, friendly and wise guestsister etc. However, thread with caution. The sisters are under visitation from Rome right now, after serious allegations were made by former members. Visitation means not that the pope will come by and drink coffe, it means the vatican will investigate the rule of life and constitutions and the way that these are lived out. Allegations point to problems with leadership in the community, formation and the distinction between internal/external forum. 

I hope and pray that the visitation will clear up all the issues within this community.

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I discerned with them for over a year. I second josephine's advice. It is a wonderful community to make a retreat in, but there is a serious lack of transparency when it comes to discerning entrance. The visitation is warranted, IMO.

Also, if you are looking for a community that is dead-serious about ensuring solitude for all its members, you should contact the Carthusians, not the MFB. I speak only from my experience with the women, though. I have no idea what life is like for the men.

Their chant and artwork are indeed beautiful and I would encourage people to support them with retreat visits/donations and artwork purchases.

If you want more details, John Paul, PM me.

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