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Recently, lay people have felt called to live according to the Cistercian charism while remaining in the world: single or married, they found masters of the spiritual life among our Cistercian fathers and have chosen to share our ideal of prayer and evangelical simplicity. Since Cistercian life is eminently a common life, this desire to live according to the Cistercian charism leads to forming a group. The monastic dimension of the Cistercian charism is lived by these lay groups through their connection with a monastery.
Two groups journey along with the abbey of Cîteaux:
• Près de Cîteaux. Its members find in Cistercian spirituality a spiritual and fraternal support while leaning on points of reference given by the Rule of Saint Benedict and the Cistercian tradition.
A charter has been signed between Près de Cîteaux and the monastic community represented by its abbot. Statutes give structure to the group’s life. Près de Cîteaux is also recognized by the International Association of Lay Cistercian communities.
The members meet at the Abbey four or five weekends each year and a special time spent occasionally at another monastery. In addition, for those who are able, other meetings are planned in sub-groups between these week-ends. Levels of commitment are celebrated according to the desire and pace appropriate to each one.
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• La Grange de Clairvaux. Its special characteristic is to have as a reference place a former Cistercian grange near the Abbey of Clairvaux in Aube.
→ More information at www.grangesaintbernard-clairvaux.fr
We are delighted with this new expression of Cistercian life that is blossoming throughout the whole world. The various lay groups are gathered into an international organization linked to the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance. Today, monks, nuns and lay people seek together ways of cooperation.
→ More information on the Association of Lay Cistercian Communities at: cistercianfamily.org