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Abbot Jeremy with Prior Evagrio and Monk at Cuernavaca

Mexico Daughterhouse Founded in 1965 Gains Independence

January 9, 2017

The bells in the Tower of Visitation here at Mount Angel Abbey could be heard pealing on January 1, the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, as the monastic community sang the Te Deum, celebrating the independence of our third daughterhouse, the Monasterio Benedictino de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.

Abbot Jeremy Driscoll with Cuernavaca Community in December 2016
Abbot Jeremy with Cuernavaca Community in December 2016

The independence of our Cuernavaca daughterhouse was enacted January 1, 2017 by Abbot President Vincent Bataille, OSB, of the Swiss-American Benedictine Congregation, following the work of Abbot Jeremy Driscoll, OSB, of Mount Angel Abbey.

Our Cuernavaca daughterhouse was founded in 1965 by Abbot Damian Jentges, OSB, 5th abbot of Mount Angel Abbey at the request of Bishop Sergio Méndez Arceo of the diocese of Cuernavaca, Mexico. Mount Angel Abbey’s Father Ambrose Zenner, OSB, along with Brother Boniface Arechederra, OSB was initially sent to Mexico to begin the foundation.

Today, the monastery at Cuernavaca is a thriving community, with 12 monks in final vows and 17 monks in formation. In addition to the daily round of prayer, the monks of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles operate a retreat house, bookstore, and farm. The farm produces avocados, coffee, and corn. The monks have honeybees, run a bakery which produces chocolates, cookies, yogurt, and other products. Three priests of the monastery teach in the seminary and the monastery has many monks studying at the seminary.

The Cuernavaca monastic community celebrated the historic event on January 1 at a midnight Mass presided by Rev. Prior Evagrio Póntico López Álvarez, OSB, where the official decree of independence was read.

Abbot Jeremy and the monks of Mount Angel Abbey offer congratulations as the Monasterio Benedictino de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles begins this exciting new chapter in her history.