Christmas gifts from convents and monasteries

I just received from a friend a fruitcake made by Trappists at Assumption Abbey in Missouri.

This year I think I will use mugs from the Say The Black Do The Red cafepress site as well as things from monasteries and convents.  They probably depend heavily on what they sell at this time of the year.

You could help them buy getting your Christmas gifts from these monastic houses.

How about you readers help with some ideas along this line.

Surely many of you know convents and monasteries who make things to sell for income.

Post your suggestions, experiences, comments, and especially links here!

I’ll start with the fruitcake I got today.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Thomas says:

    Not to be confused with the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress Fruitcakes.

  2. Mark says:

    Le Barroux has some nice things. They can’t send their wine outside of France, though. But they have various cookies, jams, medals, chant cd’s, liturgy dvd’s etc. It is a good place to support.

    I have also heard good things about “mystic monk coffee from the Carmelites in Wyoming.

  3. Nora C says:

    Try the Trappists in Kentucky for yummy cheese and fudge; the fruitcake isn\’t bad, but I am a die hard Claxton fan, so don\’t go by my taste in fruitcake:

  4. Jim says:

    Holy Cross Abbey, Berryville, VA for fruitcakes, candies, and honey.

  5. Aric says:

    For the second year in a row I bought the Christmas cards I will send from St. Michael’s, Farnborough, in the UK. Their printing is stunning, and there is no risk of anyone confusing it with a “generic holiday” card. You have to order a bit early in order to be sure to receive them this side of the Atlantic in time, but I find I receive things within about 2 weeks of ordering.

    There is no reason why American monasteries with print shops couldn’t make similar cards, but I have not found anything that I like here. Does anyone know of American monasteries / convents that print things along the lines of Farnborough?

  6. Mystic Monk Coffee from the Wyoming Carmelites – a non-Catholic friend gave me a pound not long ago and I’m convinced! I’ve already ordered some for several folks on my list.

  7. A good place to try is – they’ve got an assortment of interesting things.

  8. Dakota Hoard says:

    The monks of Conception Abbey in Missouri run They also run a fine seminary.

  9. Rose of Lima says:

    The Dominican Nuns in Summit, NJ make and sell their own soaps, room sprays, hand lotion and chap stick. They really need help, too, because they are trying to make appropriate renovations for their aging sisters. They also have a blog!!

    Website for soaps:

    Blog site:

    Check them out, they are a fantastic, growing community.

  10. The Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles has a fine CD for sale that would make a lovely Christmas gift:

    If you know someone who is in a monastery or convent I think they would welcome a monetary Christmas or Epiphany gift to the Order on behalf of the person you know in that Order.

    I usually buy my Christmas cards from the Leaflet Missal showroom since the store is very close to my house but you can order cards and all kinds of gifts from the website:

  11. Cathy of Alex: I did something on that CD from the Benedictine in a PODCAzT.  They are good.  That would be a nice gift.

  12. Anne Scanlon says:

    There is a small Catholic Bookstore in Southern Pines, North Carolina (Bible belt country) whose purpose is to solely support monasteries, convents and Orthodox Catholic Publishers… will find coffee, fudge, jams, fruitcake and yes…even caskets all made by monks and nuns….if you are anywhere near by….do visit…most refreshing….there is not profit here…truly a mission..the name is All Things Sacred

  13. Janet says:

    Here is a link to St. Bernard’s Abbey’s online candle shop:

    St. Bernard’s is a Benedictine monastery near Cullman, Alabama. It is the home of Ave Maria Grotto, which was created over the lifetime of a German Benedictine brother, (Brother Joseph Zoettl, I think…)
    Ave Maria Grotto also has a giftshop, but it might not be linked to the monastery or the monks there.

    As one final bit of trivia, St. Bernard’s is about a 25 min. drive down a country road from Mother Angelica’s Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama.

  14. Fr A says:

    For unrepentant chocoholics, the gourmet chocolate fudge royale and JUMBO chocolate truffles from the confectionary of the monks of the St. Bridget of Sweden’s Order of the Most Holy Savior (i.e., “Brigittines”) in Oregon are worth their weight in gold.

    Anyone who’s ever tried to make fudge at home knows the challenge of trying to avoid the product turning out grainy. But the Brigittine monks have perfected this to a near artform: I’ve never tasted fudge so rich, so smooth…and I have a midriff to testify to it firsthand!

  15. Ray from MN says:

    The Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in La Crosse, WI, has just opened their gift shop.

    The St. John’s Bible, in Collegeville, MN, the first bible hand written in over 500 years, has wonderful gifts.

    Lasermonks, in Sparta, WI, in addition to printer toner and office supplies now also offers biscuits, preserves and coffee.

    Because of the tremendous success that Lasermonks has had with “capitalism”, they now are linking to 35 or more other monasteries around the world that sell other products.

    The Trappist New Melleray Abbey near Dubuque, IA, isn’t really set up for Christmas gifts, but if you know someone in the market for a casket . . . .

  16. PMcGrath says:

    but if you know someone in the market for a casket . . . .

    Of course, most of us are in the market for a casket. Some of us may prefer a wooden cremation urn or a ceramic urn, and I’m glad to see that the New Melleray Trappists have thought of that market as well. And talk about reasonably priced! Hmmmm … I’m going to have to make arrangements ….

  17. JD Treat says:, which is operated by Our Lady of Spring Bank of LaserMonks fame, is, as far as I know, the only monk owned and operated site that sells products from many monasteries so you can get a full range of products and help multiple monasteries with one easy order.

  18. Sara says:

    The Cistercian Trappist Monks in Huntsville, Utah have creamed honey in various flavors that is just to DIE for.. my favorites are the fruit flavors…”Natural” is unflavored.

    They also have regular honey but I don’t believe they ship it.

    Here is their website…click on the link that says Bookstore and gift shop.

  19. Anon says:

    Besides their wonderful soaps and lip balm, the Dominicans of Summit publish the best Catholic hymnal you ever did see. The BEST.
    And don’t get the impression that because they have aging members they are an aging community. They’re healthy so they live a long time, but they seem to get new blood all the time.
    And they publish some other books, including children’s books, IIRC.
    And don’t the monks at St Meinrad’s make caskets? Anyway, they have excellent music products.

  20. Doug says:

    The Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers Georgia (a short trip from our home in Marietta) has a great online store with a good many monk-made items from fruit cake to coffee. They are also renowned for their wonderful bonsai greenhouse and, though they don’t take orders for trees, they do have an online store for bonsai tools and pottery.

    Monastery site:
    Monastery Store:
    Monastery Bonsai site:

  21. Sara says:

    The Carmel of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Discalced Carmelite Nuns, in Salt Lake City, Utah, offer various bookmarks and holy cards. They also make altar breads. They are also delighted to pray for you for any personal need or request.
    Here is their Web page:

  22. Ian Power says:

    There is a (Benedictine?) monastery in Rome that is reputed to produce legendary chocolate, but the name completely escapes me at the moment. Does anyone have more information about them?

  23. FHC says:

    The Norbertine Sisters of the Bethlehem Priory of St. Joseph (cloistered contemplative order) 20 nuns, many young
    Tehachapi CA
    661-823-1066 or or

    They make beautiful cards, rosaries, aprons, baby christening blankets and vestments amid other things in their gift shop. One of the Sisters art work is reminiscent of medieval illuminary art. They also have a house for individual or small group retreats. Giving a priest a gift certificate for a retreat would be a kindness. (The food is excellent and from their farm.)

  24. Mary Ann says:

    Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey, a monastery of Trappist nuns just outside of Dubuque, IA…earning their living through production of Trappestine Creamy Caramels produced at their monastery & sold through the mail. They are delicious.

    Check out their website:

    Send questions to:

  25. Katie says:

    The sisters of Carmel ( sell wonderful custom rosaries in addition to crucifixes, medals, and other Catholic items.

  26. Ohio Annie says:

    And for those who are into plain, another casket:

  27. Jon says:

    From the Trappists a few miles from where I grew up in Western New York

    From the Clear Creek Benedictines

  28. Garry says:

    The monks in the Upper Peninsula have delicious jam and fruit cakes:


  29. Mary Jane says:

    Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery is a small monastery of Orthodox nuns in upstate New York. Their store features lovely cards and bookmarks, as well as yarns from their own sheep. In addition, they sell items produced by a Christian group working in the Holy Land.

  30. Mary says:

    I don’t think they have online ordering capabilities, but the community of st. jean sisters make lovely cards and other gifts, of course you could always buy books from the brothers.

  31. Peter says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I have added quite a few new Catholic books to our web site recently:

    Many are on St. Benedict and Monasticism and a large number of hard to find books by Doctors of the Church. Most of our books are out-of-print and of the hard-to-find variety.

    God bless you!


  32. Father Totton says:


    Though they are not in Rome anymore, the small priory of American monks at Norcia truly produce the best chocolate in the world! The city of Norcia (birthplace of St. Benedict) is known for its chocolate anyhow, but the monks chocolate, well, let’s just say: WOW! One of the monks told me the story of two Swiss backpackers who happened upon their gift shop and bought the chocolate (as skeptical challengers – they were from Switzerland after all). Later that day they came back and bought a large quantity of said chocolate. I don’t know whether they will ship it to the states, but I highly recommenend the chocolate produced by the Monastery at norcia. I think their web address is Even if they don’t ship the chocolate, you should consider supporting their efforts anywhow.

    AS to the suggestion about the Trappist Caskets, I am not sure what I would think of someone who bought me a casket as a Christmas gift. I know I would think twice before allowing them to prepare the Christmas Goose!

  33. Mark G. says:

    So, Father Z., how did you like the fruit cake?

    About a day or so after the original post, I received a catalog from the monks at Gethsemane, Kentucky. I ordered the 2-1/2 lb. fruit cake and an assortment of cheese – not cheap, but, hey, it’s Chris… er, Advent. I had a simlar package plus fudge delivered to the folks house. My package arrived today – just about a week after placing the order! I haven’t tried it yet, but it sure looks yummy. My wife isn’t convinced. I’ll let you know.

    The Camelite monks in Wyoming have great coffee – Guatemalan is my favorite “regular” coffee, and the Irish Cream and Chocolate Cherry are great flavored coffees. They also publish a nice newsletter and have a very informative website about the Carmelite tradition.

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  35. Ian Power says:

    Thanks for the lead Fr. Totton, I’ll certainly investigate that. Any chocolate that’s good enough for the Swiss is good enough for me! And I’m with you on the casket issue.

  36. Mark G. says:

    The fruit cake from Gethsemani (sorry about the prior spelling), is excellent! The cheese is really good too, esp. the smoked cheese.

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