February 12, 2008

The cloistered Benedictine nuns of the Abbey of Regina Laudis, in Bethlehem, Connecticut

Over time I've put up several blogposts about Mother Dolores Hart, O.S.B., a famous former Hollywood star who became a nun of the Abbey Regina Laudis. She wrote a foreword for the book, Mother Benedict: Foundress of the Abbey of Regina Laudis.

At my monastery, as in others, we eat silently while a lector reads aloud. Presently we are reading the book about Mother Benedict. The book’s description on Amazon.com:
This is the dramatic and inspiring story of Mother Benedict Duss and the famous Benedictine monastery she founded in Bethlehem, Connecticut in the late 1940's-early 1950's. Today that monastery, Regina Laudis Abbey, is a large flourishing community of contemplative Benedictine nuns who fully live the ideal community life of their founder, St. Benedict.

The abbey is home to many accomplished women from all walks of life and fields of study, some who were well-known actresses, scientists, lawyers, doctors, musicians, teachers, and artists. Perhaps the most famous member of this renowned abbey is former Hollywood film star, Dolores Hart, who shocked the film world when she left a very successful and growing movie career at the age of 25 to become a contemplative Benedictine at Regina Laudis Abbey. This year Mother Dolores celebrated her 40th anniversary as professed Benedictine.

But the heart of this book is the amazing story of Mother Benedict Duss, who was born in America but went to France with her family as a child and became a medical doctor in Paris, left that profession, to became a Benedictine contemplative at the famous Jouarre Abbey, and through the liberating efforts from the terrors of Hitler's Nazi regime by General George Patton's army in France, she felt an overwhelming interior call to return to America to found the first-ever community of contemplative Benedictine nuns in America. At the young age of 35, with incredible faith, courage and the help of Popes, politicians, famous writers, and many others, she persevered in her call, and today Regina Laudis Abbey is a 400 acre community that includes a farm, dairy, pottery shop, large outdoor theater, and a glorious church where the nuns chant the office in Latin and sing Gregorian Masses that have been recorded and become best-selling CDs across the country.
Hollywood produced “Come to the Stable,” a movie about the founding of the abbey, and the movie has become one of the hugely popular classics of Catholic-themed films. It’s available from Amazon.com in VHS tape format. The website also has a page about the DVD version indicating that the studio has not yet made one available, but that those who wish to receive an e-mail when the DVD becomes available can sign up.

The Abbey of Regina Laudis has its own website.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Catholic Digest has an interview with Mother Dolores in its January 2008 issue and at www.catholicdigest.com

6:56 AM  

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