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Meet Latin American Monasteries

  • Gaudium Mariae Abbey was founded in 1979 by the Benedictine nuns from Saint Scholastic Abbey in Victoria (Buenos Aires province), achieving abbey status in December 1989. In the beginning, the community comprised seven nuns. Now it has 22 nuns in solemn vows, one in temporary vows and one postulant.  The generous influx of candidates motivated us to respond to a missionary appeal, and in 1987 we founded Our Lady of Paraná Monastery in the eastern part of our country about 350 km from our home.    
    Our monastery is 40km (25 miles) away from Córdoba city in the Córdoba Archdiocese where we have had an excellent presence since our foundation. Priests, religious and lay people from parish churches and ecclesial movements visit our guesthouse.   We share the liturgical prayers with them and benefit from their testimony and experience. Many times, they tell us of their pastoral projects and let us join them by supporting their efforts with our prayers.
    Our nearest city – just 7km (4 miles) away - is the second most important tourist city in Argentina: Carlos Paz.  Many tourists come to the monastery to experience a deep spiritual meeting with God. Many of them ask for advice or some guidance, which we seek to provide. We also welcome weekly local groups of tourists during the summer season to let them know about our charism and faith-related topics, and to celebrate Mass.

  • The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is a twin island state, just 7 miles off the coast of Eastern Venezuela.  These two islands are the most southerly of the Caribbean Archipelago and feel the constant lapping of the waters of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

    The Abbey of Our Lady of Exile is snugly nestled in the hills of the lush flora and fauna of Trinidad’s northern range six hundred and sixty feet above sea level.  After the conquest of the Spaniards by Christopher Columbus in 1498 and the decimation of a large portion of the Indigenous peoples, the re-population of the islands drew from a wide spectrum: African slaves, East Indian indentured labourers, French land-owners, English aristocrats, Spanish conquistadors, Chinese labourers, Portuguese, Syrians, Jews, etc. With this potpourri, came an attendant array of customs, rhythms and belief systems, all intermingling with each other and drawing as well from the vestiges of the Indigenes.  Although the British assumed political control in 1797, French was spoken in several quarters and Roman Catholicism held its own.  Today English is the lingua franca.  Hinduism, Islam, Protestantism, Pentecostalism, the Orisha Faith, the Spiritual Baptists and Roman Catholicism all co-exist, at times with a bit of syncretism, side by side with each other.