Category Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

The Great Feast of Vocation

St DominicCall and Response
Not a week goes by when one or another of us here does not meet or correspond with men who are considering monastic life at Silverstream Priory. Today I find myself thinking of all of them, because the Annunciation is the great feast of vocation. Every vocation is a mystery of call and response. With the call comes the grace to respond. The greeting of the Angel Gabriel communicates what it signifies: Χαῖρε κεχαριτωμένη!  One could exhaust oneself in attempting to express all that the angelic salutation contains: Grace upon thee whom God hath filled full of grace! Joy upon thee who art become the joy of Him who has filled thee with joy! Loveliness upon thee who art lovely in the eyes of Him who has made thee so lovely!

And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’ s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.

The Monk’s Starting Point
To open one’s ear to the greeting of an Angel, to one who comes bearing the Word of God, is to open oneself to a life–changing grace. In Psalm 44 the royal prophet addresses the Daughter of Sion, the Virgin of Nazareth: ” Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline thy ear: and forget thy people and thy father’ s house” (Psalm 44:11). Our Lady of the Annunciation is the Virgo audiens (the listening Virgin) whose portrait, I have always thought, shines through the text of the Prologue of the Holy Rule: “Hearken, O my son, to the precepts of thy Master, and incline the ear of thine heart” (Prologue 1). Every monastic vocation begins with listening to the Word of God. A certain silence and separation from the world are required of a man even before he crosses the threshold of the cloister. Saint John Paul II calls the Word of God the monk’s starting point.

The starting point for the monk is the Word of God, a Word who calls, who invites, who personally summons, as happened to the Apostles. When a person is touched by the Word obedience is born, that is, the listening which changes life. Every day the monk is nourished by the bread of the Word. Deprived of it, he is as though dead and has nothing left to communicate to his brothers and sisters because the Word is Christ, to whom the monk is called to be conformed. (Orientale Lumen, art. 10)

The Risk
Our Lady listened, and her life was forever changed. She listened, and the life of her people was forever changed. She listened, and all creation was forever changed.  The Virgin listened and, in the word addressed to her, she was offered all that would be necessary to respond to that word. In every vocation and, in particular, in every monastic vocation, there is an element of risk. A monastic vocation engages a man not only in a life marked by conversion of manners and obedience, but also in a life defined by stability and circumscribed by a real enclosure. One who enters a monastery risks living until death in one specific place and in the company of men who have already committed themselves to that one specific place. The risk is daunting, but the rewards of monastic life are well worth the risk.

Notre–Dame–du–RisqueThere is, over the portal of the abbey of Boquen in Brittany, a charming old statue of the Virgin Mary called Notre–Dame–du–Risque, Our Lady of the Risk. This title of the Mother of God has always fascinated me. The man who desires to risk his life listening to the Word of God must do so close to the Virgin Mary. One who lives with Mary will quickly come to understand the immense import of prophecy entrusted to Isaias:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts. And as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return no more thither, but soak the earth, and water it, and make it to spring, and give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be, which shall go forth from my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall do whatsoever I please, and shall prosper in the things for which I sent it. (Isaias 55:8–11)

In praying for the men who are considering monastic life at Silverstream Priory, we can only ask that they hearken to the Word of God and, with Our Lady of the Risk, incline the ear of their hearts to the call that is addressed to them. By the prayers of the Virgin Mary, the Word of God shall not return to Him void; it shall prosper in the things for which God sent it forth.

The Rosary of the Seven Dolours

The Rosary of the Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a way of rememorating certain events in the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Compassion of His Virgin Mother. As such, it is a prayer well suited to these days of Passiontide. The fruits of this particular prayer are compunction of heart, detachment from the occasions of sin, chastity, humility, reparation, compassion, intimacy with the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, and desire to contemplate the Face of Christ. The power of this prayer — something that many have experienced — comes from allowing one’s own heart to be irrigated and purified by the tears of the Mother of God. The tears of the Sorrowful Mother bring purity and healing wherever they fall.

It is significant, I think, that the first three of Our Lady’s Sorrows were shared with Saint Joseph and the last four with Saint John, the Beloved Disciple of Jesus. Both saints appeared together with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Lamb at Knock in County Mayo on 21 August 1879. Saint Joseph and Saint John, the two men chosen by God to live in the intimacy of the Virgin Mother, were also chosen by God to enter into the mystery of her sorrows.

Here is one method of saying the Rosary of the Seven Dolours:
+ Incline, unto my aid, O God.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia. (In place of Alleluia, from Ash Wednesday until Easter is said: Praise be to thee, O Lord, King of eternal glory.)

1. The prophecy of Simeon.
Lectio: “And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed. ” (Lk 2:34–35).
Meditatio: Holy Mother of God, I remember the sorrow of thy heart upon hearing Simeon’s prophecy, and I desire to contemplate with thee the Face of Jesus, “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to God’s people Israel” (cf. Lk 2:32).
Oratio: One Our Father and seven Hail Marys.
Contemplatio: Holy Mother, this impart,
Deeply print within my heart,
All the wounds my Saviour bore.

2. The flight into Egypt.
Lectio: “And after they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him. Who arose, and took the child and his mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod: That it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Out of Egypt have I called my son. ’” (Mt 2:13–15).
Meditatio: Holy Mother of God, I remember the sorrow of thy heart at the flight into Egypt by night, and I desire to contemplate with thee the Face of Jesus, born “to save his people from their sins” (cf. Mt 1:21).
Oratio: One Our Father and seven Hail Marys.
Contemplatio: Holy Mother, this impart,
Deeply print within my heart,
All the wounds my Saviour bore.

3. The loss of Jesus for three days.
Lectio: “And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? did you not know, that I must be about my father’ s business? And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them.” (Lk 2:48–50).
Meditatio: Holy Mother of God, I remember the sorrow of thy heart when together with Saint Joseph thou didst search for Jesus for three days, and I desire to contemplate with thee the Face of Jesus, “full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14).
Oratio: One Our Father and seven Hail Marys.
Contemplatio: Holy Mother, this impart,
Deeply print within my heart,
All the wounds my Saviour bore.

4. Her meeting Jesus, carrying His cross.
Lectio: “He was oppressed and was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. . . . Yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Is 53:7, 12).
Meditatio: Holy Mother of God, I remember the sorrow of thy heart when thou didst encounter thy Jesus bearing His cross, and I desire to contemplate with thee the Face of Jesus, “despised and rejected by men” (Is 53:3).
Oratio: One Our Father and seven Hail Marys.
Contemplatio: Holy Mother, this impart,
Deeply print within my heart,
All the wounds my Saviour bore.

5. Her standing beneath the cross on Calvary.
Lectio: “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother’ s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.” (Jn 19:25–27).
Meditatio: Holy Mother of God, I remember the sorrow of thy heart when thou didst see thy Child’s hands and feet nailed to the wood of the Cross and His side pierced by the soldier’s lance, and I desire to contemplate with thee the Face of Jesus Crucified, bowed in death.
Oratio: One Our Father and seven Hail Marys.
Contemplatio: Holy Mother, this impart,
Deeply print within my heart,
All the wounds my Saviour bore.

6. The Sacred Body of Jesus, taken down from the cross.
Lectio“To what shall I compare thee? or to what shall I liken thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? to what shall I equal thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Sion? for great as the sea is thy destruction. Let tears run down like a torrent day and night: give thyself no rest” (Lam 2:13, 18).
Meditatio: Holy Mother of God, I remember the sorrow of thy heart when thou didst behold the lifeless Body of Jesus taken down from the cross, and I desire to contemplate with thee the Face of Jesus, “beautiful above the sons of men” (Ps 44:3).
Oratio: One Our Father and seven Hail Marys.
Contemplatio: Holy Mother, this impart,
Deeply print within my heart,
All the wounds my Saviour bore.

7. Her witnessing the burial of the Sacred Body of her Son.
Lectio: Joseph of Arimathea “went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And taking him down, he wrapped him in fine linen, and laid him in a sepulchre that was hewed in stone, wherein never yet any man had been laid. And it was the day of the Parasceve, and the sabbath drew on. And the women that were come with him from Galilee, following after, saw the sepulchre, and how his body was laid” (Lk 23:52–55).
Holy Mother of God, I remember the sorrow of thy heart when thou didst behold the Body of Jesus wrapped in a linen shroud and laid in the tomb, and I desire to contemplate with thee the Face of Jesus, covered with a veil in death.
Oratio: One Our Father and seven Hail Marys.
Contemplatio: Holy Mother, this impart,
Deeply print within my heart,
All the wounds my Saviour bore.

In honour of the tears shed by Our Lady during these Seven Dolours: Three Hail Marys.
O Mother of Sorrows, by the tears which thou didst shed,
grant that I may weep for my sins. Hail Mary.
O Mother of Sorrows, by the tears which thou didst shed,
soften the hardened hearts of sinners. Hail Mary.
O Mother of Sorrows, by the tears which thou didst shed,
grant that I may make reparation for my sins. Hail Mary.

Praying for the sick


The Comfort of the Mystical Body
Nearly every day people write to us or come to the monastery asking us to pray for the sick. This is a request that we take to heart. I know well that, apart from physical discomfort, weakness, and pain, sickness often brings fear, a sense of foreboding, and the impression of being useless, or even a burden to others. I know, too, that when one is sick, one may have the desire to pray. but the incapacity to do so. It becomes difficult to concentrate. One experiences an aching need for God and, at the same, one has the impression of being totally incapable of reaching out to Him. At times like this, the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ becomes immensely comforting; while one member of the Body suffers, another prays, and this, in such wise, that suffering and prayer are united in each.

therese1.JPGTemptations of the Sick

Three days before she died, I saw her in such pain that I was heartbroken. When I drew near to her bed, she tried to smile, and, in a strangled sort of voice, she said: “If I didn’t have faith, I could never bear such suffering. I am surprised that there aren’t more suicides among atheists. (Saint Thérèse, as reported by Sister Marie of the Trinity)

The sick are especially vulnerable to temptations against hope; the sick are often tempted to despair, to blasphemy against the Will of God, and to disbelief. For this reason it is important to pray for the sick — not only for their physical healing, but also that, in their weakness, they may be protected and sustained by the loving hand of God. Pray for the sick! So often they cannot pray for themselves, or have the impression of being unable to pray, which is itself a terrible suffering.

Discretion
It is important not to assault the sick with pious recommendations to say this prayer or that. Although this may be done with the best intentions, it often has the effect of oppressing the sick person with yet another experience of the inability to measure up to unrealistic expectations. The intemperate zeal of the pious can, unwittingly, push a sick person over the edge into a kind of despondency. It is better to pray quietly and peacefully, while offering the comfort of a gentle and compassionate presence.

Our Lady
I know of no better way of praying for the sick than by entrusting them to the care of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. Her maternal Heart overflows with tenderness for all who are weak, diminished, and fearful in the face of suffering. There is no suffering with which she is not familiar. The resources of her compassion are inexhaustible.

Stultus in risu exaltat vocem suam (VII:10)

7 Feb. 8 June. 8 Oct.
The tenth degree of humility is, that he be not easily moved and prompt to laughter; because it is written: “The fool lifteth up his voice in laughter.”

The Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Degrees of Humility are three aspects of a single proposition. Saint Benedict would have us understand that humility and pride are in the power of a man’s tongue.

If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man. He is able also with a bridle to lead about the whole body. For if we put bits into the mouths of horses, that they may obey us, and we turn about their whole body. Behold also ships, whereas they are great, and are driven by strong winds, yet are they turned about with a small helm, whithersoever the force of the governor willeth. Even so the tongue is indeed a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how small a fire kindleth a great wood. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is placed among our members, which defileth the whole body, and inflameth the wheel of our nativity, being set on fire by hell. For every nature of beasts and of birds, and of serpents, and of the rest, is tamed, and hath been tamed, by the nature of man: But the tongue no man can tame, an unquiet evil, full of deadly poison. By it we bless God and the Father: and by it we curse men, who are made after the likeness of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth, out of the same hole, sweet and bitter water? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear grapes; or the vine, figs? So neither can the salt water yield sweet. Who is a wise man, and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew, by a good conversation, his work in the meekness of wisdom. (James 3:2–13)

If you would be humble, control your tongue. If you would control your tongue, give place to Christ in your thoughts. If you would give place to Christ in your thoughts, fill your heart with the Word of God. What goes in comes out.

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (Luke 6:45)

Attend to the liturgical providence of God. The Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Degrees of Humility occur at the same time as the feast of the Most Pure Heart of Mary in our proper liturgical calendar. Silence and humility become the virtues of predilection of souls who approach the Most Pure Heart of Mary, and who linger in her company. Our feast of the Most Pure Heart of Mary (as instituted by Saint Jean Eudes on February 8, 1642 and later adopted by Mother Mectilde de Bar and the Benedictines of the Most Holy Sacrament) falls within the Octave of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary; it is a liturgical rumination of the prophecy of Saint Simeon and, at the same time, of the two Lucan verses concerning the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed. (Luke 2:34–35)
But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart. (Luke 2:19)
And his mother kept all these words in her heart. (Luke 2:51)

Saint Benedict tells us that certain things are incompatible with humility: much talking; boisterous or sarcastic laughter; talking that is disproportionately loud; and talking that is inflated by the need to affirm oneself and impose one’s thoughts on others. All these things are indicators of pride. A sure cure for these things is a man’s intimacy with the Most Pure Heart of Mary. One cannot live in the presence of Mary without growing in the practice of humility and silence. In this regard, the rosary is a school of humility and silence. Not only does the rosary, as Father Marie–Joseph Lagrange, O.P. (1855–1938) once said, “decapitate pride”; it also opens the door of an interior cloister that is perfectly silent, giving access to the hortus conclusus that is the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

As a commentary on the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Degrees of Humility, I recommend Robert Cardinal Sarah’s book, The Power of Silence. The book is suffused with the spirit of Saint Benedict, revealing the influence of monastic life on Cardinal Sarah. He writes:

Silence is not an idea; it is the path that enables human beings to go to God. God is silence, and this divine silence dwells within a human being. By living with the silent God, and in Him, we ourselves become silent. Nothing will more readily make us discover God than this silence inscribed at the heart of our being. I am not afraid to state that to be a child of God is to be a child of silence.

Misericordia in medio templi

PurificationThe Mercy of God in the Midst of the Temple
The Mass of the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary  (Candlemass) opens with these words: «We receive, O God, thy mercy, in the midst of thy temple» (Psalm 47:10). In the Middle Ages, Candlemass was also called Susception Day, from the first word of the Introit: Suscepimus. «We receive, O God, thy mercy, in the midst of thy temple». Symbolically, when we receive our blessed candles on February 2nd, we are receiving the Infant Christ, the light of the world, the mercy of the Father sent to save and heal a people languishing «in darkness and in the shadow of death» (Luke 1:79).

When the fulness of the time was come, God sent his Son, made of a woman, made under the law: That he might redeem them who were under the law: that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Galatians 4:4–5)

The Little Son of Mary
The one thing that everyone finds irresistible is to hold a baby, even if only for a few moments. Elders are transformed by it. Boys suddenly become tender, and girls motherly. Even small children vie for the privilege of holding the newest arrival in the family. As the little one is passed from one person to the next, faces grow bright with joy. A little baby has the power to light up a room. The Little One we celebrate on Candlemass Day has the power to light up the world: «A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel» (Luke 2:32). The little Son of Mary, acknowledges as his own the one who receives him, and on the one who holds him, he confers a new identity: divine sonship.

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. (John 1:11–12)

An antiphon from the Divine Office of the feast sings that, «the ancient carried the
Infant, but the Infant guided the steps of the ancient». Simeon, the image of all that in us has grown old with waiting, carries Mercy in his arms, but Mercy, by the light that shines on his face, guides the old man’s steps. If we would be guided by Mercy, we must first receive the Mercy of God that comes to us in the outstretched arms of a little Child asking only to be held.

What Can Bring Us Happiness?
The Introit says that Mercy is given us in medio templi, in the midst of the temple. This places the Infant Christ, the human Face of Divine Mercy, at the heart of the feast. All of the other figures in the Gospel are seen in relation to the Child. All of the other figures appear in the light of his face. «What can bring us happiness?» they ask. «The light of thy countenance O Lord, is signed upon us» (Psalm 4:7). «Come ye to him», they say one to another, «and be enlightened»( Psalm 33:6). The infant Christ is placed in our arms that we might gaze upon the human face of Divine Mercy and, in the light of that face, be transformed.

Four Enduring Images
In the Gospel for the the feast of Candlemass, Luke 2:22–32, the Holy Ghost has inscribed four enduring images of the monastic life that we, at Silverstream Priory, are striving to emulate. These are images full of freshness, vitality, and hope: the Virgin Mother, Saint Joseph, Saint Simeon, and Saint Anna.

Our Lady
Blessed Mary is completely silent in this Gospel. Even when addressed by Simeon, Our Lady remains silent. Her silence is an intensity of listening. She is silent so as to take in Simeon’s song of praise, silent so as to capture his mysterious prophecy and hold it in her heart. She is silent because today her eyes say everything, eyes fixed on the face of the Infant Christ, eyes illumined by the brightness of his appearing. She is the bride of the Canticle of whom it is said, «How beautiful art thou, my love, how beautiful art thou! Thy eyes are doves’ eyes, hid beneath thy veil» (Song of Songs 4:1). Monastic life, at Silverstream Priory and wherever it is found, begins in the silence of Mary and in the light of her eyes, eyes made bright by the contemplation of the Face of Christ.

Saint Joseph
Saint Joseph shares Mary’s silence. Silence is the expression of their communion in a tender and chaste love. Joseph listens with Mary. Saint Joseph is the first to enter the sanctuary of the Virgin’s silence. It is Saint Joseph’s way of loving, his way of trusting his Virgin Bride beyond words. The silence of Saint Joseph becomes for us monks a way of loving, a way of trusting, a way of pushing back the frontiers of hope. Saint Joseph is necessary to the unfolding of the plan of salvation; God willed to have need of him. Saint Joseph’s role, like that of Mary, is not limited by time and space. Saint Joseph, Protector of the Universal Church, stands beside the Mother of the Church today: silent, listening, and tenderly focused on the Face of Christ in the least of his members.

Saint Simeon
Saint Simeon represents the old priesthood disappearing into the light of Christ, our «merciful and faithful high priest before God» (Hebrews 2:17). Simeon is the old priest pointing to the new. He speaks; he sings his praise; he utters prophecy. In this Saint Simeon models the vocation of every priest called to instruct, to lift his voice in the Great Thanksgiving of the Holy Sacrifice, and to deliver the message of God in the power of the Holy Ghost. Saint Simeon had a particular relationship with the Holy Ghost. Three times in as many verses Saint Luke emphasizes the mystical synergy (working–together) of Simeon and the Holy Ghost: «And the Holy Ghost was in him» (Luke 2:25); «And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost» (Luke 2:26); «And he came by the Spirit into the temple» (Luke 2:27). In Saint Simeon, we Benedictine monks have a model of «life in the Holy Ghost». We today, like Simeon of old, are called to contemplate the Face of the Infant Christ and to raise our voices in thanksgiving for the consolation of all believers.

Ruler of all, now dost thou let thy servant go in peace, according to thy word; for my own eyes have seen that saving power of thine which thou hast prepared in the sight of all nations. This is the light which shall give revelation to the Gentiles, this is the glory of thy people Israel. (Luke 2:29–32)

Saint Anna
Finally, there is Saint Anna the prophetess. Anna is the daughter of Phanuel, whose name means «Face of God». Anna has made the temple her home. Abiding day and night in adoration, she emerges from the recesses of the temple only to give thanks to God and speak of the Child. Drawn into the light of the Face of Christ, Anna cannot but praise God and publish the good news «to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem» (Luke 2:38). In some way, Anna of the Face of God is the first apostle sent out by the the Holy Ghost. Before Mary Magdalene and before the twelve Apostles, Anna announces Christ. She is compelled to speak but does so out of an “adoring silence.” She emerges from her cloister of perpetual adoration in the temple to publish the long-awaited arrival of Mercy with the light of his Face shining in her eyes.

Never to Despair of the Mercy of God
Jesus Christ, Mercy–in–the–Flesh, allowed himself to be passed from the arms of the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph into the arms of Simeon and, then, undoubtedly into the embrace of holy Anna. The festival of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary celebrates the descent of Mercy, the reception of Mercy, and the exchange of Mercy. Mercy given from on high, Mercy embraced in the midst of the Church, Mercy exchanged among us. Benedictine life at Silverstream Priory is just that. “O God, we have received thy Mercy, in the midst of thy temple” (Psalm 47:10). The feast of Candlemass makes every year a Year of Mercy. And we, Benedictines of Silverstream repeat today what our father Saint Benedict says to us in Chapter IV of his Holy Rule: «Never to despair of the mercy of God».

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Situated amidst pasture land and forest in the eastern reaches of County Meath, Silverstream Priory was founded in 2012 at the invitation of the Most Reverend Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath, and canonically erected as an autonomous monastery of diocesan right on 25 February 2017. The property belonged, from the early 15th century, to the Preston family, premier Viscounts of Ireland and Lords of Gormanston. In 1843 Thomas Preston (1817-1903), son of Jenico Preston, the 12th Viscount (1775-1860), built what today is Silverstream Priory.

Silverstream Priory is a providential realisation of the cherished project of Abbot Celestino Maria Colombo, O.S.B. (1874–1935), who, following the impetus given by Catherine–Mectilde de Bar in the 17th century, sought to establish a house of Benedictine monks committed to ceaseless prayer before the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation. The community of Silverstream Priory holding to the use of Latin and Gregorian Chant, celebrate the Divine Office in its traditional Benedictine form and Holy Mass in the “Usus Antiquior” of the Roman Rite. Praying and working in the enclosure of the monastery, the monks of Silverstream keep at heart the sanctification of priests labouring in the vineyard of the Lord. They undertake various works compatible with their monastic vocation, notably the development of the land and gardens, hospitality to the clergy in need of a spiritual respite, scholarly work, and publishing.

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