“Withdrawal from the world for the sake of leading a more intense life of prayer in solitude is nothing other than a very particular way of living and expressing the paschal mystery of Christ, which is death ordained toward resurrection.” (Instruction on the Contemplative Life and on the Enclosure of Nuns, 3)

Contemplative Life in our Religious Family

From the time of our Religious Family’s foundation in 1984, there have always been members who desired to live our charism in a more exclusively contemplative manner. Our founder, Fr. Carlos Buela, also always intended our community to recognize and embrace the value and richness of monastic life as an expression of our missionary spirituality. The IVE priests began an experience of monastic life early on in our history and today they have monasteries of monks throughout various missionary lands, particularly in the Middle East (Tunisia, Holy Land, and Jordan).

A Contemplative Branch for the Servidoras

On March 18, 1991, the vigil of the Feast of St. Joseph, the Servants of the Lord contemplative branch was formally established. The first cloistered monastery was founded shortly after in San Rafael, Argentina on March 25, 1991 under the patronage of St. Teresa of the Andes.

This first monastery was also entrusted with praying for peace in the world as their particular prayer intention which would serve to focus for their missionary contemplative life. Subsequently, each new monastery was also given a particular prayer intention at the time of its foundation.

Furthermore as contemplatives, the nuns all consecrate their lives for the whole Church, represented in the person of the Holy Father, for the perseverance of all priests, and for the increase and sanctification of vocations. They truly form the vanguard of our missionary efforts through their prayers and penance for the glory of God, the salvation of souls, and the perseverance of the apostolic priests and sisters.

Monasteries in the Missions

Since 1991, seven other monasteries have been founded around the world:

  • Monastery of Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, Arequipa, Peru (October 3, 1995)
    • for consecrated life in the Church
  • Monastery of Blessed María Gabriella of Unity, Pontinia, Italy (June21, 1996)
    • for the unity of all Christians
  • Monastery of St. Edith Stein, Brooklyn, New York (December 17, 1998)
    • for all men and women may come to the knowledge of the One and True God, for the philosophy and theology students of our Religious Family, and for the apostolate of our sisters in Asia
  • Monastery of Maria Santissima delle Grazie, Velletri, Italy (April 30,1999)
    • for the sanctification of priests
  • Monastery of “Ecce Homo,” Valkenburg, Netherlands (2007)
    • for the dignity of the human person
  • Monastery of “Santa Sofía,” Divine Wisdom, Burshtyn, Ukraine (September 22, 2009)
    • that Catholics may learn to “breathe with both lungs”(this is a Byzantine Rite monastery)
  • Monastery of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, Santo Amaro, Brazil (April 30, 2010)
    • for the protection of life and in reparation for those who work against life, especially those who promote and perform abortions, and for their conversions

These monasteries receive prayer requests by e-mail from around the world. See the list of monastery e-mail addresses to send in a prayer request. Also see a new web feature about Contemplative Life in our community in Spanish.

The Monastery of St. Edith Stein in New York

Here in our Province, the Monastery of St. Edith Stein was established in 1998 in Brooklyn, New York. Originally founded by missionary nuns from Argentina, the community now also includes Mexican and American vocations from Delaware, Maryland and Kansas. Currently three new nuns have been assigned to this monastery from Argentina and we are now awaiting their arrival.

Located at the parish of St. Thomas Aquinas in Flatlands (Diocese of Brooklyn), the Monastery of St. Edith Stein provides a constant presence of prayer to the local Catholic community and a silent and eloquent witness to all of the reality of God and the value of prayer.

The life of the contemplative nun is marked by an enclosure, the sung liturgy of the hours, and a life of silence. Each one also shares in community work time in the garden, sewing of liturgical vestments and baptismal gowns, and the daily charity of community life throughout the schedule.

Outside of the seasons of Advent and Lent, the nuns receive visitors in their parlor—including the visits of the apostolic sisters. While withdrawn for greater prayer and sacrifice, the nuns are actually often more up to date on international news and the activities of our Religious Family than one might expect; their mission of intercession coupled with the calls and e-mails with prayer requests make it so. Read other answers to “questions about contemplative life.”

With great joy, our whole Religious Family gives thanks for the gift of exclusively contemplative life in the Church and particularly within our family. May the Lord call forth many more generous souls to console His Sacred Heart and to call down graces from Heaven for the good of the world.

Words from the Contemplatives on the Occasion of Their Anniversary

An excerpt from the circular letter sent between monasteries for the occasion of March 18th:

On this aniversary we both give thanks to God for the beautiful vocation to which He has called us, and we also ask for the grace for all the contemplatives that we may be faithful and may know how to respond to the Merciful Love of God, being aware that we have been called and chosen by God to “satiate the thirst of rejected Love.”

May all our Monasteries be able to come to be “oases” where Jesus may find His rest and consolation and and be able to calm His thist for souls, and in which at the same time, the men and women of our time can satisfy their thirst for God.

May Mary, who contemplated all the mysteries of Christ meditating on them in her heart, intercede for us and grant us this grace from her Divine Son.

Contemplative Nuns of the Monastery of St. Edith Stein
March 18, 2011
Brooklyn, New York