- The People v. Climate Change
These Monks Saved Their Abbey by Protecting the Earth
Catholic monks in Virginia have reinvigorated their order by vowing to be sustainable.
BERRYVILLE, VA – A tiny community of cloistered monks in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley had two big problems: one theological and the other ecological.
First, the order of Trappist monks had dwindled to ten, from a peak of 68, as members died off and few others joined. It has been an increasingly hard sell to convince men to commit to a life of celibacy, poverty, and obedience—and, in the case of the group more precisely known as the Catholic Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance—silence as well.
The other problem was that Holy Cross Abbey’s 1,200 acres—where monks produce fruitcake and creamed honey and rent land to tenant farmers—were also hurting. The beef cattle being raised in this idyllic spot in the