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What is Trappist Monasticism? (Pt7)

January 15, 2008

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The Trappist obligation to live simply and sustainably within their natural setting produced excellent examples of small-scale community food production. The excess from their dairy production of cheese and butter were sold at market to provide income for the few things that the monks couldn’t make. Over the years, Trappist cheese became famous for its distinct flavour. Brother Albéric still makes cheese at the Trappist Monastery now in Holland Manitoba. Brother Albéric, came from the Trappist monastery in Oka, Quebec in 1967. In 1972, he won the Holstein Frisian Trophy for producing over 19,000 pounds of milk per cow for a year.

Notes:

1. Although most Trappist Monasteries upheld strict vegetarian diets, the monks at St. Norbert had an official “Dispensation” (an exemption from a church law, a vow, or another similar obligation granted in a particular case by an ecclesiastical authority) to eat fish. They caught fish in nets in the LaSalle River.

2. In its largest configuration, the monastery housed 50 monks, 300 dairy cattle producing 36,000 lbs of milk/month, 50 beef cattle, 130 pigs,1600 chickens and 80 bee hives with an average annual 15 tons yield of honey.

3. “Idleness is the enemy of the soul. The brethren, therefore, must be occupied at stated hours in manual labour and again at other hours in sacred reading.” –Rule of St. Benedict, Ch. 48

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