Monastic Family of Bethlehem

The Monastic Family of Bethlehem offers another window into the world of contemporary chant. The full title is the Monastic Family of Bethlehem, of the Assumption of the Virgin and of Saint Bruno. Founded by some French pilgrims in Rome in 1950, the reference to St. Bruno lets you know that their spirituality is Carthusian. The contemplative nuns were founded soon after and the brothers, in 1976. I have two CDs of their chant from the monasteries in Israel with chants in Arabic and Hebrew and Latin. They are quite unique and beautiful. Interestingly, several of the newer French-originated orders are strongly influenced by the iconography and practice of the Eastern church.

If you’re looking for them in the USA, there is a monastery of nuns in Livingston Manor, New York. The late Cardinal John O’Connor gave them an old summer camp. Here’s their website. Of course, this is the French language site, but a translation in English is also available.

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