St. Mary's AI, Glencairn

St. Mary's Abbey, Glencairn, Co. Waterford, Ireland

Welcome to St. Mary's Abbey, Glencairn

St Mary’s Abbey, Glencairn is the only Cistercian monastery for women in Ireland. Our monastery is located in the Blackwater Valley, about 3 miles upstream from Lismore, County Waterford.

At the heart of the monastic life is the search for God; here at Glencairn, we seek God and follow Christ in a life of prayer and community, solitude and simplicity, work and hospitality.

We follow the Rule of St Benedict, an ancient source of monastic wisdom that continues to guide many people in search of an authentic spiritual path in today’s world.

There are three key elements in our day: Lectio Divina, Liturgy and Work.

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In the Garden
...BEING ATTENTIVE to the times of the day: when the birds began to sing, and the deer came out of the morning fog, and the sun came up. The reason why we don't take time is a feeling that we have to keep moving. This is a real sickness. We live in the fullness of time. Every moment is God's own time, His kairos. The whole thing boils down to giving ourselves in prayer a chance to realize that we have what we seek. We don't have to rush after it. It was there all the time, and if we give it time, it will make itself known to us.

Thomas Merton

Our Community

Our community was founded in 1932 by Holy Cross Abbey, Stapehill, England with the support of the monks of Mount Melleray Abbey, County Waterford, Ireland.

The community quickly grew and in 1949 Glencairn founded the first Cistercian monastery for women in the United States; Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey, Wrentham, Massachussetts.

Saint Justina’s monastery, a second foundation of Glencairn, was founded in Abakaliki, Nigeria in 1982.

Today, we are a community blessed with 36 sisters from all over Ireland and different parts of the world, with a wide range of age groups represented, from the thirties to the nineties!

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Latest News
Times of Easter Ceremonies at Glencairn Abbey 2014

Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper: 6pm

Good Friday Celebration of the Lord’s

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Would You Believe? Documentary Special on Glencairn Abbey

This Easter Sunday RTÉ’s Would You Believe? School of Love goes behind the scenes into

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