Official Name Abbaye N.-D. de Soleilmont
Telephone  (71) 38 02 09
Fax  (71) 38 56 62
Community Email [email protected]
Superior Mère Dominique Graulich, Abbesse 2003
Juridical Status Abbey
Diocese Dioecesis Tornacensis (Tournai)
OCSO Region CNE
Soleilmont was a Benedictine monastery before Cîteaux; became affiliated in 1237; suppressed in 1797; new affiliation in 1922
1237: In May, the act of affiliation with the Order of Cîteaux and submission to the paternity of the abbot of Aulne, signed by the abbots of Villers, Grandpré and Val St Lambert, delegates of the general chapter.
1239, 23 March: bull of pope Gregory IX ratifies the affiliation with the Order of Cîteaux and places Soleilmont under the protection of the Holy See (the original document is in the archives at Soleilmont)
1246 foundation of the abbey of Moulins (province of Namur) by the religious of Soleilmont. Dame Béatrix, professed of Soleilmont, becomes the first abbess of Moulins.
1414 as a consequence of laxity, the general chapter orders the suppression of the abbeys of Soleilmont, Moulins, Argenton and Jardinet. The decree is suspended for Soleilmont and the reform is established by Dame Marie de Senzeille (mentioned in the Cistercian menology January 1). Regularity is well established at Soleilmont which proceeds to introduce the reform to many other monasteries in the Netherlands and thus merits to be called a nursery of abbesses. Some religious of Soleilmont, who became abbesses in other monasteries: D. Beatrix, first abbess of Moulins, 1246; D. Jeanne de Warluseille, abbess of Olive, 1381; D. Nicaise de Harby, 6th abbess of Argenton, 1430; D. Jeanne de Senzeille, 17th abbess of Salzinnes, 1450; D. Anne de Biève de Rubenprez, 12th abbess of Argenton, 1539; D. Marguerite d’Autriches, abbess of Oriente, around 1600; D. Marie Potte, abbess of Boneffe.
1480 (+) dedication of the church of Soleilmont.
1578 the religious take refuge at Mons because of the wars. They are still there in 1583. In 1603 they are at Soleilmont.
1654 Purchase of a house of refuge at Namur. It was kept until around 1790.
1657 Purchase of a house of refuge at Châtelet.
1794 flight toward the Rhine before the revolutionary armies. After being absent for 9 weeks the religious return to the monastery.
1796 commissioners of the republican government present themselves at the monastery, carrying propositions of secularization with indemnities. The abbess and all the religious vehemently refuse to sign these conditions.
1797 On 4 January, suppression of the monastery and order to leave. 26 January, departure from Soleilmont – exile at Farciennes. 27 January, public auction of Soleilmont.
1802, 20 July 20: return to Soleilmont as tenants.
1805 death of the last abbess of the old regime. From now until 1927 prioresses will govern the monastery.
1816 opening of a boarding school as a means of existence.
1819 the chaplain, an old monk of Aulne, dies, and the religious apply to D. Germain, abbot of Gard (Amiens) who consents to give them one of his monks as chaplain. He is D. Marie-Joseph, the future founder of Mont-des-Cats. Monks of Gard continue as chaplains until 1835.
1823 closure of the boarding school.
1837 Soleilmont is repurchased. There are only 4 old religious left, one of whom is blind.
1838 reopening of the boarding school.
1914 war: students cannot return.
1916 letters of the bishop of Tournai authorize: 12 January: the closure of the boarding school; 20 May: the gradual return to Cistercian observances; 12 August: the return to enclosure.
Nazareth (1950), Kunnambetta (Ananda Matha Ashram/ Makkiyad) (1995)
Westmalle 1922 – 1972, then Scourmont
Xavier GLAESENER — Prioress — 08/01/1858 – 07/04/1894
Alphonse XAUFLAIRE — Prioress — 07/04/1894 – 22/02/1902
Bernard RICHIR — Prioress — 13/03/1902 – 01/10/1909
Xavier MATHIEU — Prioress — 01/10/1909 – 28/12/1918
Marie CLEMENT — Prioress — 28/12/1918 – 17/11/1921
Ignace VERMEYLEN — Prioress — 17/11/1921 – 06/12/1927
Gabrielle ANDRE — Abbess — 06/12/1927 -06/12/1936
Scholastique DAL — Abbess — 06/12/1936 – 09/12/1939
Gabrielle ANDRE (2) — Abbess — 09/12/1939 – 09/12/1945
Agnès SWEVERS — Abbess — 09/12/1945 – 10/07/1950
Thérèse DEVOS — Abbess — 10/07/1950 – 04/07/1989
Paul SMETS — Abbess — 04/07/1989 – 02/01/2003
Work and Sources of Income
Altar breads, bread and cookies
15 rooms for retreat. 25 to 30 persons for a day