Abbey Announcements

Abbey Renovations

Over the last year, the Abbey underwent several renovations to its buildings. Most of these were designed to increase our ability to engage the wider community. Thus, the lobby was expanded and the parlors were renovated and refurnished. An extension to the west wing was made in order to create a larger classroom with an independent entrance, and so to allow student guests to come and go freely without having to pass through the cloister.

Porch leading up to the renovated guest house.

Finally, a less academic space was created in the guest house (which also received several improvements of its own) to host less formal events like receptions, Bible studies, video presentations and seminars. This enhances the primary function of the guest house, which is to provide a place for families to stay overnight when visiting one of the monks.

Other renovations to the Abbey were made to assist the internal activities of the monks. The space for the library was expanded on the first floor. While all the books were off the shelves, improvements were made to the digital catalog and organization of the library. In addition, three new bedrooms were created on the second floor of the extension to the west wing (these bedrooms are therefore just above the new classroom). Finally, the most exciting renovation is undoubtedly the crypt built next to the church to house the deceased members of the Abbey.

Renovated library in the Abbey.

All these renovations were made possible by the generous community that surrounds and supports the Cistercian Abbey and School. A campaign was launched in 2014 with the goal of raising $10 M to meet the needs of the Abbey and School. Thanks to the support of many donors, we need less than $60K to meet our goal. Construction on the Abbey projects began in the spring of 2016 and is just now being finished. Work on the Science Building at the School was begun in earnest as soon as the boys were dismissed for the summer in 2017.

 

Coming Home

Abbot Peter blesses the new crypt.

Over the last year, the Abbey has undergone a series of renovations. Among these renovations was a crypt built adjacent to the church to hold the remains of ninety-six monks. It sits underneath the earth in a hill next to the church, but the ceiling touches the surface and so allows for a skylight to run along most of the ceiling of the crypt.

The crypt was blessed on Pentecost, Sunday June 4, 2017 during a mass for the Memorare Society, which is the planned giving society at Cistercian.

 

A skylight illumines the entire crypt.

For decades, deceased members of the Abbey were buried in a plot at Calvary Hill Cemetery in Dallas, Texas.  Now, all twenty-one deceased monks are back home, as it were. During July and August, their bodies were transferred two or three at a time into the new crypt. Each time a group of monks and associates from Calvary Hill Cemetery gathered to pray over the caskets before re-entombing them in the new crypt.

The story was covered by The Dallas Morning News in their piece A Brotherhood Made Whole. We are very grateful to the many generous donors who made this crypt into a reality.

Through the mercy of God may our brothers rest in peace with all the faithful departed.

Fr. Melchior Chladek

Fr. Melchior Chladek

Please remember in your prayers our beloved brother in Christ, Fr. Melchior Chladek, who passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 14. A rosary will be offered for him on Friday, June 23, at 7:30 p.m. in the Abbey Church. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, June 24, at 10:00 a.m. in the Abbey Church, with an interment in the Abbey crypt afterward. A reception will follow in the Guest House.

Fr. Melchior’s obituary can be found here. He was the last survivor of the group of Hungarian Cistercians who founded the Cistercian Monastery Our Lady of Dallas. Let us pray for the repose of his soul, as we give thanks for his life and ministry.