March 30, 2017 2:40 pm

Due to serious and longstanding difficulties in the community the General Chapter of 2014 asked that an Apostolic Visitation be carried out at Clairefontaine.  The Apostolic Visitation took place in December-January, 2014-2015. On March 5, 2015 M. Rebekka of Klaarland was appointed Abbess Apostolic Administrator of Clairefontaine, directly under the authority of the Congregation for Religious (CIVCSVA) and for as long as it deemed necessary. M. Rebekka was assisted in her task by a commission of aid. A second Apostolic Visitation took place in November 2016.

The measures proposed by the Order and the Holy See to improve the situation did not, unfortunately, produce the fruits hoped for, and after much consideration and consultation the Congregation came to the conclusion that a community life lived in conformity with the Constitutions of the Order was no longer possible at Clairefontaine.  Thus it decided on the closure of the abbey and, in its letter of February 3, 2017, asked the Abbot General to implement the decision.

The Holy See also accepted the resignation of M. Rebekka as Abbess Apostolic Administrator which became effective with the setting up of the special commission prescribed by our Constitutions to supervise the process of suppression (C. 67). The special commission met with the community of Clairefontaine on the morning of March 29 and the decision of closure was communicated to those present and to the absent sisters.

This is sad news for the Order but particularly painful for the community and each one of the sisters. Your prayers are asked for the work of the special commission and in particular that the sisters of Clairefontaine may be helped to find a monastery or environment where they can live out their monastic life in serenity and in the peace of Christ.

The members of the special commission are: Dom Armand (Scourmont); Dom Lode (Orval); M. Rebekka (Klaarland); M. Therese-Marie, OSB, (Hurtebise); M. Daniele (Generalate); M. Benedict (Arnhem); D. Gerard (Melleray). The Commission has chosen Dom Armand as its President and appointed M. Benedict Claustral Prior of Clairefontaine.