New Melleray

Location

Official Name New Melleray Abbey

19

Country USA

City Peosta

Address 6632 Melleray Circle

Postcode 52068-7079

Contact Information

Telephone [1] (563) 588-2319

Community Email monks@newmelleray.org

Website www.newmelleray.org

Superior Dom Mark Scott, Superior ad nutum 2013, Abbot 2014-2020

Other Informations

Juridical Status Abbey

Diocese Archidioecesis Dubuquensis (Dubuque)

OCSO Region USA

Founded/Restored 1849

Origins

Founded by Mount Melleray; raised to rank of abbey in 1862.

History

1849:  Founded by Dom Bruno Fitzpatrick on 16 July.

 

Toward the end of the 1840’s Dom Bruno Fitzpatrick was deeply concerned about the survival of Mt.Melleray due to the potato famine. New Melleray was founded as a house of refuge in case the monks of Mt.Melleray had to re-locate because of the food shortage. Dom Bruno and  a little band of monks set out to the new world to look at various properties offered to them. The land outside Dubuque, Iowa was considered the best for farming so it was chosen as the site of New Melleray. When Dom Bruno returned to Ireland he sent out 16 monks to augment the few monks already there. These monks journed for 77days and only 10 of the original 16 arrived in Dubuque. A plague of cholera broke out on the steamer the group took up the Mississippi river from New Orleans, and in a one-week period in November 1849 six monks died. They are buried along the banks of the Mississippi River. After much struggle to establish this American foundation New Melleray became an abbey in 1863.

1857, May, 1857: Sending of colony to Wexford, Iowa.

1858 Summer: Return of colony from Wexford.

1867 -1870: Construction of east and north wings of abbey.

1928, 28 October: Blessing of new guesthouse and chapel.

1946, 25 March: Blessing of ground for south wing of abbey.

 

The community grew rapidly after the Second World War and peaked in 1961 with 160 monks.

 

The 19th c. abbey church occupied the upper floor of a long wing. In the 1970’s, to bring the church into conformity with the reforms in the Catholic Church and in our Order, the wing was completely renovated. Under the guidance of designer Frank Kacmarcik the division between the two stories was eliminated, and the plaster covering the walls was removed to reveal the Iowa limestone underneath. The new church won a national prize for architecture in 1977. It was dedicated on 16 July 1976.

 

 

From 1849 to 1999 New Melleray was a farming community (3400 acres [1376 hectares] of land). The rich Iowa soil supported the monastery. In the 1990’s agriculture took a bad turn and the community was forced to look at an alternate source of income. With 1100 acres of woodlands we decided to make wooden coffins for sale to the general public. This business has become our main source of income.

Foundations

Ava (1951); Belleville, simplified foundation (1969 -1971)

Father Immediate

Mount Melleray (Melleray, 1977-1980)

Daughter Houses

Mt. St. Bernard, Ava, Mississippi

Lay Associates

1) Associates of the Iowa Cistercians;

2) Conversi: an On-Line Community

Past Superiors

Clement SMYTH — Titular Prior — 16/07/1849 – ?/08/1849
James O’GORMAN — Sup.ad nutum — 01/09/1849 – 12/04/1850
Francis WALSH — Titular Prior — 12/04/1850 – 06/12/1852
Clement SMYTH — Prior (2nd time) — 06/12/1852 – 16/04/1857
James O’GORMAN — Prior (2nd time) — 16/04/1857 – 02/05/1859
Bernard McCAFFERY — Sup.ad nutum — 02/05/1859 – 02/10/1860
Ignatius FOLEY — Prior — 02/10/1860 – 15/06/1861
Bernard McCAFFERY — Sup.ad nutum — 15/06/1861 – 25/02/1862
Ephrem McDONNELL — Prior — 25/02/1862 – 10/05/1863
Ephrem McDONNELL — Abbot — 10/05/1863 – 29/09/1883
Alberic DUNLEA — Sup.ad nutum — 29/09/1883 – 27/09/1889
Louis CAREW — Sup.ad nutum — 27/09/1889 – 07/06/1897 (v.15)
Alberic DUNLEA — Abbot — 07/06/1897 – 04/02/1917
Bruno RYAN — Abbot — 04/02/1917 – 02/08/1944
Albert BESTON — Abbot — 02/08/1944 – 05/09/1946
Eugene MARTIN — Abbot — 05/09/1946 – 10/11/1952
Vincent DALY — Abbot — 26/11/1952 – 16/05/1954
Philippe O’CONNOR — Abbot — 19/07/1954 – 15/02/1964
Matthias (James) KERNDT — Abbot — 28/07/1964 – 01/12/1966
Gérard KENNEDY — Apostolic Administrator — 20/1/66(?) – 16/03/1967 (v.56)
Ignace WEBER — Sup. — 01/05/1967 – 19/07/1967 (v.65)
David (Berchmans) WECHTER — Abbot — 19/07/1967 – 25/07/1976
David BOCK — Sup.ad nutum — 18/99/1976 – 03/03/1978
David BOCK — Abbot — 03/03/1978 – 18/01/1984

Brendan Freeman — Abbot — 1984- 20/06/2013

Work and Sources of Income

Production of coffins; large farm

Guest Facilities

30 rooms

Transportation

Airport, bus station: Dubuque

Monasteries

  • Nazareth

    Belgium

  • Mississippi

    USA

  • San Isidro

    Spain