“As soon as I stepped out of my vehicle, I felt the peace and love of a past, simple people flowing through the air. All I could imagine was the dozens of similarly dressed monks and nuns roaming the halls of this ruined site. It was not only beautiful, but sad, to see such a beautiful place built on faith and love, collapsed and no longer used.”
“Our Lady of the Fields”, a St. Norbert trappist monastery, was established in 1892 by monks associated with the French Roman Catholic religious group known as “The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance”.
Other monasteries based off the Cisterian order can still be found all over the world today.
The trappists (monks) that lived in St. Norbert were a simple people strongly dedicated to hard work and religion. They believed they had been called apart from society to fully give their lives to Jesus Christ. Their religious goals include the following which is quoted directly from the OCSO website here:
“The Cistercian monastic lives with other sisters or brothers, being purified and strengthened by the community for the life-long labor of prayer. Each of our monasteries has its own customs and daily schedule, but common to all is the practice of rising before dawn to begin the day with liturgical prayer and returning to church periodically during the day for further prayer together. At other times, as we work, we try to keep an atmosphere of silence, to help us grow in the practice of continual prayer. Our monasteries are normally located in the countryside, surrounded by natural quiet and beauty, keeping us close to the earth of which God has made us stewards.”
It is such a simple life these people live, yet so radical in our ever-changing world.
In 1978 the monks moved the monastery location to Holland, MB, where it still resides today. In 1983, just five years later, the building was vandalized with fire, completely destroying the residential wing and leaving the church portion nothing more than an empty shell.
My trip to the monastery was quite eventful. It is truly spectacular to see the remnants of what was once a beautiful building filled with faith, love, and dedication.
I was also able to shoot a short video tour of the ruins so you can really get a good sense of the building as well as the gardens, and other surrounding landmarks.
I would definitely recommend this as a place to visit. It is a gorgeous location, and a great place to be alone and think. There is something very peaceful about it, and I have no doubt it is the strong history of love and faith that make this trappist monastery something special. Good vibes all the way!
Stay updated for an upcoming blog post about these monk’s newer trappist monastery in Holland, MB!