Trappist Monastery Inaugurated in Czech Republic

Cardinal Vlk on Hand for Ceremony

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PRAGUE, Czech Republic, JULY 12, 2002 ( A Trappist monastery was inaugurated in Novy Dvur, the first monastery to open in the Czech Republic since the fall of Communism.

The celebration Thursday was presided over by the archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, with Bishop Frantisek Radkovsky of the Diocese of Plzen, and Father Patrick Olive, abbot of Sept-Fons in Dompierre-sur-Besbre in France, according to the Vidimus Dominum service. The monastery was an initiative of the monks of Sept-Fons.

The present structure, still under construction, is incorporating buildings from an ancient Bohemia farm, purchased a decade ago by the monks of Sept-Fons. The monks are financing its renovation with other Cistercian monasteries and various donors.

The donors include Aiuto alla Chiesa che Soffre (Help to the Suffering Church), Serra International and Serra Italiano, as well as some private foundations. The Czech Ministry of Culture has also contributed to the financing of the works.

Twelve of the monks were formed at the Abbey of Notre Dame of Sept-Fons. They will move into the new premises in August. Six of the monks are of Czech nationality; six are from Western Europe.

The monks will live the contemplative life of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, based on prayer, community life and manual labor. Their superior will be French Father Samuel Lauras, 48, who until now has been the prior of the Abbey of Sept-Fons.

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