At Bethlehem Monastery we try to keep alive the spirit of Clare and Francis. Given that our first priority is prayer, the Spirit needs to be given scope to inspire, animate and enliven all that we do, so that the whole of our life contributes to our contemplative living. Quiet reading in gardenWe have chosen to live according to the form of life left us by Clare and Francis of Assisi, and for us the place where we will encounter the person of Christ, the incarnate Word of the Father, is the monastery where we have been called to live together as a community.

This involves stability of place and a certain stability of life style; at the same time we are aware of the need to be open to the demands of each new day as it comes from the hand of God. Within the context of our contemplative life, we are called to share ourselves in love and hospitality with our sisters, and with those who come to the monastery, for whatever reason.

A strong family bond is the mark of a Franciscan community. Our life together is a simple one: it is human and it is real, calling for generosity, honesty, courage, sincerity and tolerance, as we try to remain open to God in our weakness and emptiness. EucharistThis entails each of us sharing in all aspects of our community life: prayer, work, study, relaxation and all other occupation, while acknowledging in gratitude and joy Godís gifts to us as a community and as individuals.

We come together in this family to deepen our relationship with God and to hold in our hearts and encompass in our prayer the needs of the whole world. This is both our life and our apostolate.

Through

  • Eucharist
  • The Prayer of the Church (the Divine Office)
  • Adoration and prayer to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament
  • Scripture and spiritual reading
  • Personal prayer,

we endeavour to strengthen our Gospel life in Christ and to leave ourselves open to his Holy Spirit, so that we may be a meeting point between the Father and his world. This requires time and space, freedom and love, hope and trust; for often there is no tangible proof of the value of our life and mission.

Our life includes celebration: As a family we celebrate Christmas and Easter and other liturgical feasts, and also other important occasions in the life of our community such as professions and Jubilees, birthdays and anniversaries.