Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Happy Centenary to the Monks of Prinknash Abbey

Went to the monthly 3 pm Traditional Latin Mass at Prinknash Abbey in Gloucestershire on Sunday. (They also have one every Saturday at 11 am.) The celebrant, Father Damian, told the congregation about a very special anniversary.

One hundred years ago today, on 5th March 1913, the Anglican monks of Caldey Island, off the coast of Pembrokeshire in Wales, were received into the Catholic Church. I have gathered the following details about that happy occasion. First, from the blog of Farnborough Abbey in Hampshire:
It was in 1913 that Abbot Cabrol of Farnborough and his friend Blessed Columba Marmion sailed to the Island of Caldey to welcome the Anglican monks there into what Newman called the ‘one true fold of the Redeemer’.
The website of Prinknash Abbey tells more of the story, which explains the link between Prinknash and Caldey:
The community began in the Anglican Church, but converted to the Catholic Church, while living on Caldey Island, near Tenby, Wales, on 5th March 1913—one hundred years ago.
- and this:
Our particular community began life in the Church of England when our founder, Abbot Aelred Carlyle set up a small community in the Isle of Dogs, London. After many wanderings, that community eventually settled permanently on Caldey Island off Tenby, South Wales, and became Roman Catholic in 1913. Financial pressure forced them to leave Caldey and come to Prinknash Park in December 1928, where they have been ever since. (Caldey Abbey was taken over by another branch of the Benedictine family, the Trappists). But the Prinknash community flourished in the mid-20th century, and was able to take over Saint Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough from the French in 1947, re-found Pluscarden Abbey Elgin, Moray, Scotland, in 1948 and, with Saint Augustine’s Abbey Ramsgate and Pluscarden, founded a small dependent house in Ghana, West Africa in 1989, known as Kristo Buase Monastery.
Many congratulations to the monks of Prinknash. Here is a picture (courtesy of their website) of the lovely mediaeval house to which the community returned a few years ago, from the modern building in the same grounds:

Picture of Caldey Island from visitpembrokeshire.com, via Google Images

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