7 July, 2016 - Our founding house Melleray readies for the future








On the 21st of December, 1848, a group of monks from the Abbey of Melleray in France arrived at the site of their new home in the midst of the hills of Kentucky. The place was called Gethsemani, a name which the newly-arrived monks retained.

At that time, vocations in France were so plentiful that the Abbey of Melleray could not contain them all and so made a number of foundations. Briquebec in France and Mount Melleray in Ireland were also founded by Melleray during the 19th century.

But now, vocations to the monastic life in France are scarce, and the community of Melleray has dwindled to a handful. Rather than simply close the monastery, the community has been working with the movement Chemin Neuf ("New Way" or "New Road") to ensure that religious life in some form will continue at the Abbey.


Chemin Neuf was founded in 1973 and currently has 2,000 members in 30 countries. They are an ecumenical movement and include members from all major Christian denominations.

There are now 20 members of Chemin Neuf living at Melleray with the monks.