BONNEVAUX

December 22, 2017

2017: A Year to be Grateful for

We have much to be thankful for and to wonder at in the life of the community in 2017. Not least is the progress made in starting our new home at Bonnevaux. Thank you to all who have joined in this new project with a great variety of gifts. Next year we will describe how you can help in the physical work we will start soon and help in many specific needs. The blessing of Bonnevaux was an inspiring and energising event. Thank you for being part of the Bonnevaux vision for a world where inner peace makes for peace between all peoples.

Any help in realising this vision is welcomed: small donations, time and presence and your daily communion in the silence of our meditation. Thank you and Happy Christmas and a blessed New Year!

November 28, 2017

Bonnevaux Chapel: signs of a legacy of faith

Elba Rodríguez, from Colombia, is part of the Meditatio House oblate community. She was recently in Bonnevaux for the official blessing that took place on the 21st November. During the days before she helped to prepare the chapel for the big day and then she made a meaningful little discovery:

There were several parts of the house and activities that required our focus. I directed my attention to the small chapel that stands 30 meters from the house.

The chapel dates to the mid 19th century and seats about 30 people, although we were more than that on the Blessing day. Two older harmoniums in a state of repair guard the corners of the entrance. The chapel must have been used until the 1990s as prayer books, antiphonaries, pictures of Pio X, Pio XIII, John Paul II and devotional stamps still rested intact on both musical instruments. Five pews were arranged inside the small space. Antique French altar candlestick holders, vases and unknown relics adorned the altar. Devotional objects and remains of medieval alabaster windows were also behind the altar.

The stained glass windows that adorn the chapel were designed by L. Lobin in Tours in 1867 and were big enough to let the natural light come in during the shorter days of November. Next to the altar is a statue of Jesus reading a text in Hebrew and Mary lovingly observing him.

The rather unglamorous but necessary task in preparation for the blessing was to dust off the inside of the chapel and to do it with the utmost contemplative and meditative care during very cold and humid November days. What seemed ordinary became very significant after finding on Sunday 19 November, the last day of preparation of the chapel, a lightly dusted folded paper in the middle left drawer of the third pew of the chapel. It was the order of mass of Christ the King Sunday, 20 November 1988! And 29 years forward we are here in Bonnevaux bringing to life a vision rooted in the Christian tradition but also open to pilgrims and seekers of other faiths. Once Bonnevaux is in operation, this little place will offer a quiet retreat for prayer, worship and meditation for all those seeking silence within.

November 27, 2017

Blessing day: listen to the talks by Laurence Freeman and the Archbishop of Poitiers (both in French)

Listen to the talks by Laurence Freeman and the Archbishop of Poitiers during the blessing of Bonnevaux, in 21st of Novembers:

 

November 23, 2017

A Blessed Day in Bonnevaux

The 21st of November was a memorable day for our Community at Bonnevaux, in France and globally. With the Archbishop of Poitiers, the Prior of the monastery of Liguge,  Sandrine Vinay ( French National Coordinator) the icon of John Cassian ‘written’ for Bonnevaux by Odile van der Hoff was blessed and installed in the small chapel. Meditators from France, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, the UK and Ireland were present and messages came from worldwide, read by Jose Pype, national coordinator from Belgium.

The day was warm and sunny and this seemed to illumine the sense of Bonnevaux as a place of peace and hope both locally grounded and globally extended.

November 23, 2017

See images of the “Walk for Bonnevaux” pilgrimage in Italy

Henriette Hollaar, a member of the Meditatio House oblate community, did a “Walk for Bonnevaux” in the beginning of November. She walked for about 130km from Subiaco to Monte Cassino, Italy. The main idea was raising awareness about Bonnevaux and the walk also raised about £ 1000 in donations.

Having the health and the strength to walk a pilgrimage is already a blessing. And I received many more! The weather was fantastic, to emerge in the beauty of nature, to wonder and marvel the depth of history, the unexpected and elevating encounters with people, growing deeper in solitude, silence and simplicity. It was very special to receive your support and encouragement. Either through messages and prayers or your generous donations. A heartfelt thanks and in a way I hope I shared my blessings with you.

 

 

 

See more images of Henriette’s walk:

Walk for Bonnevaux

November 23, 2017

Our deep gratitude to Marie O’Leary

Marie O’Leary, of Perth, Australia, was (and remains since her death earlier this year) a beloved member of our community. She suffered chronic pain for decades with deep faith and unfailing love for others. Although she was mostly housebound she fell in love with the Bonnevaux vision and wanted to be part of it. To help achieve this she left us her house in her will – a very generous legacy which will helps us take Bonnevaux forward. As she was a special sign of grace to others, so is this generous gift. Thank you Marie! We know you hope this may inspire others to remember Bonnevaux in their wills.

November 16, 2017

Meditators from Belgium share work and silence at Bonnevaux

By Geert Van Malderen

From 29th October to 2nd November 2017, Bart, Henri and I went for a 3-days working stay in Bonnevaux. The beauty of the whole site is amazing. The harmony between buildings and nature, the calming river, and the woods … they all make it possible to create there a place where all meditators and seekers of silence can feel at home. Often during the work, I thought of the monks who lived there. Now, new ‘monks’ can come. The tradition and the Spirit continue, even in the way we work and eat. We meditated by the open three times a day, the beginning of the steady rhythm of Bonnevaux. Bonnevaux needs us – young and old and in between (Henri, 95 years old) was with us and was very thankful for th e visit. It won’t be the last time that we come to meditate – and to work )!

November 10, 2017

Blessing of Bonnevaux will take place on 21 November

The blessing of Bonnevaux will take place on 21 November with the installation of an icon of John Cassian. Please share this sacred moment with us: we ask that on 21 November, meditators throughout the world pause for a moment in gratitude for the presence of WCCM in the world, for the gifts that have been shared up til now, and for the all the hopes that Bonnevaux embodies for future generations. We ask that all who can, have an extra period of meditation that day, either on their own or in a small group.

After meditation please share this reading and prayer:

Meditation is the supreme way into faith, into commitment. All action must be shallow, mere immediacy if it is not based on the commitment to what is real, which must also be to what is eternal. Our invitation is to know now, with direct, personal knowledge, what is real and eternal, and knowing it, to live our lives inspired by love.

John Main OSB

May Bonnevaux flourish as a lamp on a lampstand, a new way of contemplative Christianity, a centre of peace, a place of teaching and transmission, and a home for future generations of our community. May the Lord bring to completion the good work he has begun in us and in the Bonnevaux of the 21st century.

Laurence Freeman OSB

October 31, 2017

Photos: Walk for Bonnevaux pilgrimage in Italy

Henriette Hollaar, a member of the Meditatio House oblate community, is doing a 130-km-walk from Subiaco to Monte Cassino. The main idea is raising awareness about Bonnevaux. You can support Henriette’s “Walk for Bonnevaux” here: http://tiny.cc/wlk4bonnvx

See some photos from the first days of her journey in Italy:

Walk for Bonnevaux

October 23, 2017

A pilgrimage to support Bonnevaux

Henriette Hollaar, a member of the Meditatio House oblate community, is doing a 130-km-walk from Subiaco to Monte Cassino in the end of October. She explains the main goal of this journey between two important Benedictine Monasteries:

In a short time, I hope to walk from Subiaco to Montecasino, two ancient Benedictine monasteries, 130 km apart in Italy. I came across this pilgrimage a few years ago and was often looking for an opportunity to go, especially when I approached my 50th birthday. I had to put the guidebook back on the shelves several times but a possibility opened when I surrendered to the idea that, instead of doing the 18 days from Nursia to Montecassino, I could do 6 days from Subiaco, where Saint Benedict had lived for 3 years in a cave, to Montecassino where St Benedict gave his Rule to the monks and died in 547.
From then I began to plan and train. Besides walks in and around London, walking up and down the stairs is very good.
I would like to walk in gratitude for life and raise funds and awareness for Bonnevaux and particularly for the barn, which is becoming the new Meditatio Centre. From this centre, the World Community for Christian Meditation hopes to broadcast many events as well as welcome people in the retreat facilities and so, as Fr Laurence puts it, help people to deepen their work of silence and so to renew their relationships with others.
If there is any chance you would like to sponsor this project, please look at; www.bonnevauxwccm.org

Here some pictures of my training walks, sometimes around London, the so-called capital ring. But there where days I could escape London:

You can follow Henriette’s journey on Facebook and Instagram

You can donate to support the walk clicking on the button below:

October 20, 2017

Bonnevaux: The Journey Begins

We have now legally taken possession of Bonnevaux – or as Fr Laurence says ‘we have now become its new stewards. Like all good work, the renovation of Bonnevaux is a collaboration: we need your prayer and your contributions’. Please help us to go forward and realise the vision!

Watch the message from Laurence Freeman:

September 27, 2017

Laurence Freeman Blog: Not a Nostalgic reflection

Forty years ago today John Main and I boarded a plane from London to Montreal carrying a couple of suitcases and an embarrassing number of overflowing plastic supermarket bags holding last-minute remembered clothes and commentaries on the Rule of St Benedict. On arrival and under heavy rain we were met by Bishop Len Crowley, a rare free spirit among bishops, who had invited us to establish a Benedictine priory of monks and lay people dedicated to the practice and teaching of meditation. In the ‘quiet revolution’ in Quebec he had seen a once all-powerful church diminish and recede from public acceptance and suffer a devastating loss of meaning. Prophetically – and like John Main – he could see this was not merely an era of change but a change of era. READ MORE

September 25, 2017

Video: Help us to make Bonnevaux a reality

Message from Anne Singley, from Houston

July 17, 2017

Bonnevaux Evenings

In April, Meditatio House in London began a monthly social evening of meditation, friendship and introducing new friends to Bonnevaux. Members of the community invite their personal friends who are interested in meditation and may also like to help realise the Bonnevaux vision. These Bonnevaux Evenings have proved very attractive and also enjoyable. They are, first of all, an opportunity to share the gift of meditation with new people – who are also happy to hear the good and feel the inspiration of Bonnevaux. “Some good news, at last!”, one guest remarked.

The evening starts with a short introduction to meditation, followed by meditation and some sharing by meditators on what the practice means to them. People then have a light supper and glass of wine which provides an opportunity to discuss meditation in general terms, responding to questions and, of course, introduce Bonnevaux, with its vision and needs, in more detail.

Fr Laurence and the Bonnevaux team encourage national and local WCCM communities as well as oblate cells to replicate this idea, sharing the gift of meditation in connection with the vision of Bonnevaux. For further information on how the evening can be set up and organised please contact Adrienne Letay

June 16, 2017

Interview: Andrew Cresswell and Delyth on Bonnevaux

June 16, 2017

Bonnevaux: an example of teamwork mixing energy and generosity

 There is a professional and energetic team dedicated to realising our vision for Bonnevaux. Central to it are the architects who met in London recently to take us to the next level of detail. DP Architects in Singapore, an internationally renowned firm (who have meditation daily at their head office), under their CEO, Angelene Chan, are giving their services freely to the community. Mathieu Meur, Frven Lim and Kailas Moorthy are all part of the team working on the renovation schedule. Jeff Seeck, a German meditator and engineer, has given his skills on the team as Project Manager – just who we needed at the right time! We see all this generously donated talent as a sign of the presence of the Spirit in Bonnevaux.

We will complete the sale during the summer. We intend to start work on the community house, guest house and conference centre in the Fall. Some national groups and many individuals are planning to visit next year, so we want to be ready to receive you. Our core community (drawn from several countries and languages) is meeting next month near Bonnevaux, at the ancient Benedictine monastery of Liguge, to spend time in prayer and reflection together.

Thank you all for your very generous support – for the time, talent and treasure so many are giving. We have now reached the purchase price goal. We are more than half way towards the goal of Phase One.

If you haven’t contributed yet please do so. However modest the amount it counts. It also greatly encourages our whole team working on behalf of the community to make Bonnevaux a stable centre of peace and for peace in our uncertain world.

You can contribute simply by clicking the Donate link here.

If you have any questions about donations please contact Briji Waterfield at our International centre: Briji@wccm.org 

May 16, 2017

Video: The Levels of Silence in Bonnevaux

Giovanni Felicioni explains how WCCM found Bonnevaux to be its new international home and speaks of the possibility of developing three levels of silence at Bonnevaux

May 1, 2017

Video: members of the Guiding Board visit Bonnevaux

Watch a video of a recent visit by members of the Guiding Board:

March 20, 2017

Looking at our New Centre

A contingent of meditators who represent some of the first core community of Bonnevaux recently visited the community’s new home (see photos here).

“It was a grey day in early February when I visited Bonnevaux for the second time. We imagined the future visitors gathering between the main house and the guesthouse and the barn. We discussed having the dining room in the restored stables with the cobbled floor, and the horse boxes with dining tables to create a sense of closeness and community. On warm days we will be able to eat outside. The beautiful barn will become a flexible space, a wonderful conference and meditation area. With or architects, who are donating their time and talent to the project, we will make space for offices and later small cells, again bringing together solitude and community. Inside the main house where the community will move in a few months, we ended the visit in the dining room, where the owner had kindly made a friendly with wood from the property. We sat in a wide circle around the table, said our opening prayer and meditated for the first time together in Bonnevaux. Laurence invited each of us to make a prayer from the heart after meditation, and we listened to a wonderful expression of our oneness and diversity.”(Henriette Hollaar)

“It was exciting to be with the first potential members of the community at Bonnevaux. It felt like one minute we were looking at properties and listening to see if the Spirit was advocating for this project and the next minute a property has been found and people were incarnating it. To be together meditating at the property, sharing meals, discussing the plans, talking things through and laughing a lot. Such joy and presence.” (Giovanni Felicioni)

March 1, 2017

Photos: Winter visit to Bonnevaux

In February Fr. Laurence visited Bonnevaux with a group of meditators, some of them who will be part of the initial team of the new international home and retreat centre.

 

Visit do Bonnevaux - Feb 2017

ELIZABETH CARDONE (Former Director of the John Main Center, Georgetown University, Washington DC)
The establishment of Bonnevaux is an especially wonderful stage of development for the World Community for Christian Meditation. Several years ago, I had the privilege of being part of the Meditatio House  WCCM community in London. That experience of daily meditation, rooted in a loving community, has had a lasting effect on my life. No doubt Bonnevaux will provide a center and a foundation to nurture the spiritual lives of many in future generations. Our world is in need not only of deep prayer, but of individuals and communities who share the fruits of that experience.  I see every day and first-hand the powerful effect of rooting the daily practice of meditation in a physical space. Bonnevaux will be a great gift and blessing to the WCCM and to the wider world. It will be a global center and a local home for those seeking to deepen their practice and experience the richness of community life. Centers of contemplation such as these have the power to truly change and bless our world. I look forward to the fruition of the Bonnevaux project!

See what people think of the vision of Bonnevaux

Contact

If you have any questions about how to support Bonnevaux please do not hesitate to contact us.

Briji Waterfield, Director of Special Projects
WCCM International Office, St Marks, Myddelton Square, London EC1R 1XX, United Kingdom
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7278 2070
Email: Briji@wccm.org
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