The first new monastery since the Reformation has opened in the Diocese of Meath, in the east of Ireland.

The Benedictine monastery, currently with eight monks, occupies Silverstream priory, the former residence of the Visitation Sisters, in Stamullen, Co Meath. The community came from Tulsa in the United States five years ago.

Bishop Smith of Meath signed a decree on Sunday “erecting the Benedictine Monks of Perpetual Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar as a monastic institute of consecrated life of diocesan right in the Diocese of Meath”.

The decree is believed to mark the first formal establishment of a monastic community in the Diocese of Meath since the suppression of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1536.

Bishop Smith said: “I am delighted to recognise the unique presence of this new monastery. Through their prayer, study and hospitality, the monks are ‘speaking to the heart’ and their quiet witness is a reminder that the Lord continues to provide the Church with new gifts and grace.”

The monastery is contemplative in nature, with a particular focus on the liturgy and Eucharistic Adoration. The community’s constitution and canonical norms were approved by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei last month. The commission works with several traditionalist groups including the Society of St Pius X.

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