Abbaye Notre Dame
m. Christophe Brondy
6 rue Montmorin
m. Christophe Brondy
Community of Jouarre
In 2017 the community comprised about 30 sisters of between thirty and ninety five years old; four nationalities are represented.
There are two specifics of the Abbey of Jouarre: to have inherited of a long history, and to be located in the heart of a village 70 km from Paris (45 miles). This brings us to confront challenges and calls, repeatedly, for our community. Thus, for example, one of our buildings for which we have no further use, has been given to the Secours Catholique (The Catholic Support is a charity looking after down and out people) in order to allow the creation of 27 living spaces for people being reinserted.
Member of the federation of Mary’s Immaculate Heart, we experience links of fraternity and mutual help from other federated monasteries. A mixed group of oblates, nourished by the monastery’s spirituality, spreads out this spirituality in their own lives.
In about 610, Saint Colomban, an Irish monk, blesses Authaire and his sons;one of them, ADON, founded Jouarre in 630. When Charlemagne imposes Saint Benedict’s Rule, Jouarre, which had followed a mixed rule, adopts it. A crypt built in the seventh century contains the founders’ tombs. Having been ravished by the Vikings the Monastery is rebuilt in the tenth century. In the eleventh century the Tower is joined to the church dating from Charlemagne’s period; it will become the watch tower. During the 100 years war monastery, church and village are ransacked and burnt, the sisters are forced into exile. They come back in 1433 and rebuild.In the eighteenth century important works are carried out. But as of 1790 the buildings were confiscated by the revolutionaries. The church serves as a stone quarry. The cloister and the chapter are destroyed. In 1821 the survivors buy back the Abbots Mansion, create a boarding school and demand Madame de Bavoz, Pradines’ foundress, to consider restoration. The church is rebuilt in 1863. During the 1st World War, the Abbey becomes a military hospital and 4 nuns heal the wounded. In 1940 a new and brief exodus.Vatican II provokes a new remodeling of the church, the removal of the gates, the introductionof French in the Liturgy and a more varied welcome to visitors. Today the community pursues its path in the great adventure of Faith and Hope, following Christ.
On a daily basis it is Prayer, Lectio and the challenge of fraternal charity which “occupy” the community. And it is this that our guests first receive and feel.
The nearness of Paris and the Abbey’s presence in the heart of the village give many facets to the monastic hospitality: Visits of tourists attracted by historic jewels, reception of groups of children or of parishioners for one day visits; people coming for a retreat; students, taking advantage of the calm and the beauty of the spot, to revise their exams; and, recently, a new accommodation is open for all those who wish to live close to the community for a certain time(several weeks or months).
In addition our handicrafts help us with our desire to be in the world and to witness. In fact the community’s main workshop makes Christmas crib figures and other ceramic objects. Mastering all the production stages, we are very pleased to share our know-how with other monasteries. A work based solidarity which allows us to continue to serve our 200 resellers and which allows some communities to “work with their hands”!
These products are – amongst others – for sale in our shop, along with other artisanal products such as jams, fruit candies, decorated candles, flowery cards and rosaries.