Visit to Mount St Joseph Abbey, Roscrea

Our visit to Roscrea monastery:

On Tuesday the 27th of April 3rd 4th 5th and 6th went to the Cistercian monastery in Roscrea Co. Tipperary. We got to see what life would be like in a monastery. There are twenty monks in the monastery. The monastery is called Mount Saint Joseph (M.S.J). The Abbot is the monk in charge. He showed us around. The Abbot’s name is Fr. Richard Purcell. There is a college at M.S.J it is a boarding school for boys. The monks go to mass seven times a day. They go to mass at 4am (Vigils), 6.30am (Lauds), 7am (Eucharist), 9am (Terce), 12pm (Sext), 2pm (None), 5.30pm (Vespers) and 8pm (Compline). The oldest monk in the monastery is 96 years old. Life in a monastery is a balance between 3 elements. The three legs of a stool of monastic life are liturgy, lectico and labour.

Fr. Purcell gave us a tour of the church first, while we were there the Abbot showed us the stain glass windows and told us what they represented. Then he showed us the sacristy; this is where the Monks would change in to their robes and take out the Holy Communion and the chalices. While we were in the sacristy he told us a story about why every monk should have a book and bell. Following this we passed through the Chancel, where all the rooms joined, and visited the chapter room. The chapter room is where the monks have their meetings. Next we saw the library, Fr Purcell told us that the library they had was too small so they made a new one in the old dormitory where one hundred monks used to sleep thirty years ago.   In the old library they have 22,000 books they made a new library where the dormitory was because they had too many books. Between the two libraries they have 52,000 books.

After midday prayer with the monks we visited the guest houses where people can stay for up to a week and see how monks live. Fr.Purcell only became an Abbot last year and will stay like that for the next five years. He started at the age of twenty one and now is thirty four and has a long time as a monk ahead of him. The monks in Roscrea wear black and white because they are Cistercian monks. We asked Fr. Purcell why he became a monk. He said that God had called him in a way. After asking questions we went for a walk around the monastery and back to the bus. We all had a great time!

Thank you to Fr. Purcell for inviting us and showing us around the monastery 

 

Roscrea2

On the 27th April 3rd to 6th class went to the Cistercian monastery in Roscrea. First we met Fr.Purcell and he showed us the sacristy; this is where the Monks would change in to their robes and take out the Holy Communion and the chalices .Next he showed us the Chancel where all the rooms joined .We walked along it to the Chapter room where they would talk about their lives and have meetings. Next we saw the library, Fr Purcell told us that the library they had was too small so they made a new one in the old dormitory where one hundred monks used to sleep thirty years ago.  Next we went to midday prayer with the Monks .The special name midday prayer is sext which means the sixth hour of the day after dawn.

Finally we visited the guest houses where people can stay for up to a week and see how monks live. Fr.Purcell only became an Abbot last year and will stay like that for the next five years. He started at the age of twenty one and now is thirty four and has a long time as a monk ahead of him. The monks in Roscrea wear black and white because they are Cistercian monks. The monks don’t see much of their families .The monks in Roscrea have a dairy and beef farm.

    By Red Devil.

Roscrea3

The church was the biggest church ever and the sacristy too. All of the rooms were so big and so interesting. I’d love to go again. The monks wore white and black robes .The monks lived and worked in the monastery. They had a farm and milked seventy cows. There was a church in which the monks went to mass every morning. The abbot was the monk in charge of the monastery.  The monks wake up at 4am every morning .The monks we saw were Cistercians. There was a big room where the monks slept. It was called a dormitory. The monks did good work, they helped the sick, looked after the poor and they taught people to read and write. The monks met every morning in the chapter room the abbot gave them their jobs for the day there. The monks eat in silence, listening to a passage from the Bible.

By Angel          

 

.Roscrea Abbey Window

 

On the (27/4/10) Clontuskert N.S students from 3rd to 6th class visited the Cistercian monastery in Roscrea county Tipperary. There are 22 monks in the monastery. The Abbot is the monk in charge of all the other monks, next in command is the prior the prior is in charge of all the other monks if the Abbot is sick our travelling, next in command is the sub prior. The sub prior is in charge of all the other monks if the Abbot and the prior are sick or if both of them are travelling. The monastery was founded by St.Benedict. The monastery needs an income of 400,000 euro each year to maintain it. The monks have prayers  at 4.00am,6.00am,9.00am,12.00pm,3.00pm,5.00pm,and 8.00pm.In between those the monks work hard and eat at 6.30am,12.15pm,and6.00pm.When the monks are in mass they sit in the monastic choir section in the middle of the church. They sit in a certain position every time they go to mass. They also sit in a certain positions for when they’re eating.

By IM

More to follow….

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One Response to Visit to Mount St Joseph Abbey, Roscrea

  1. sean walsh says:

    I remember visiting the Abbey when I was in my teens, going to Mass very early on Sunday mornings and cycling out from Roscrea again on Sunday evenings to have tea in the large dining room. The home produced food was wonderful. A saintly monk used to bless different objects but I remember once witnessing the blessing of a motor car. I maybe mistaken but I recall some connection with Co. Mayo. Perhaps the Abbot was from there, this would be in the late sixties or early seventies.

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