26 October, 2019 - Father immediate conducts regular visitation




Dom Mark Scott, Abbot of New Melleray Abbey and Father Immediate of Gethsemani. Click to enlarge.



The purpose of the regular visitation is to strengthen and supplement the pastoral action of the local abbot, to correct it where necessary, and to motivate the brothers to lead the Cistercian life with a renewed spiritual fervour. This requires the active cooperation of the community. The visitor is faithfully to observe the precepts of law, the spirit of the Charter of Charity and the norms of the General Chapter.

- Constitutions and Statutes of the Monks and Nuns of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, St. 75.2




Dom Mark Scott conducted Gethsemani's regular visitation Oct. 13 through Oct. 19.

A visitation is made by the Father Immediate - abbot of the motherhouse (usually the founding house) - every two years. The visitor drafts a report, noting the house's general state and any problems it might have.

This report, or "visitation card" is passed along to the Order's Generalate in Rome where it is reviewed and, if necessary, acted upon.

Gethsemani's motherhouse is New Melleray Abbey in Iowa, since the founding house, Melleray in France, officially closed in 2017.

During the visitation, Dom Mark interviewed each monk in the community and wrote a thoughtful and thorough summary of his findings. On Oct. 19, he read the card to the community in Chapter and formally closed the visitation.

While now common among religious orders, the practice of regular visitations was a Cistercian innovation, established in the Order's Charter of Charity in 1119.

We thank Dom Mark for his kind and thoughtful efforts on our behalf.


  2019 10 26 visitation 01 med 

Per tradition, the community gathered for a photo at the visitation's conclusion. Click to enlarge.