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1960 From Hippies to Monks: A Time of            Change

The world is changing. An ancient world of Monasticism adapts and modifies as the flood of technology, social mores and changes within the Catholic Church create new patterns. In the larger world of Trappist Monasticism, a young hip, socially aware writer becomes a monk: Thomas Merton. Learn his story of transition to become a Monk. What are the parts of society that you would consider difficult to part with if you were to become a monk?


1. Notre Dame des Prairie Abbey began admitting women for Sunday mass, to the choir loft, in the mid 1960’s. Sisters and Mothers of monks could spend the night in a special room in the gatehouse.

2. “Our silence and exercises are not an end in themselves but rather a means to an end. Some people don’t understand why we concentrate on prayer, serving God indirectly in their eyes. They see the suffering of God’s creatures, and wonder why we don’t help wherever necessary. Yet it amounts to the same end if one believes in the power of prayer. These men have no reason for living than to praise God for what he does.”
Father Bernadine Denis, Notre Dames des Prairies, 1960

3. Dom Marcel became the Abbot in 1969.



From the Archive of Our lady of
the Prairies Abbey, Holland Manitoba