Brick By Brick: Terrific News! NEW Benedictine Monastery Established in IRELAND – ACTION ITEM!



Originally Published on: Feb 25, 2017

Here is news to warm the cockles of my beady-black heart.

This comes from the Benedictines of Silverstream Priory in the Diocese of Meath. HERE

On 25 February 2017, they were formally, canonically established by the Bishop of Meath.  Their constitutions had been approved by the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” – that means they are traditional – and the go ahead was given to the bishop.

As a gesture to congratulate them for their “birthday” you might send them a donation.  Tell them Fr. Z sent you. 

The monastery is contemplative in nature, with a particular focus on the Liturgy and Eucharistic Adoration.  Its constitution and canonical norms were approved by the Holy See earlier this month.

Bishop Michael Smith signed a Decree on 25 February “erecting the Benedictine Monks of Perpetual Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar as a monastic Institute of Consecrated Life of diocesan right in the Diocese of Meath”.

This Decree is believed to mark the first formal establishment of a monastic community in the Diocese of Meath since the suppression of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1536.   Their immediate “black Benedictine” predecessors were the monks of the ancient Monastery of Fore in County Westmeath, founded originally by Saint Féichín (+665).  The monastery was suppressed in 1539.

Fr. Z kudos to the Prior, dom Mark Kirby, and the monks at Silverstream.

BTW… the monks have developed their own splendid Way of the Cross specifically for use by PRIESTS. HERE  Fathers!  Pay attention!  Lay people, consider getting this for your priests.

They also have produced beautiful and well-planned altar cards for the traditional form of the Roman Rite.   I have framed a set and use them in my private chapel.

framed altar cards from Silverstream Priory.  They turned out very well.  Check them out HERE.


Again, as a congratulation gesture for their “birthday” you might send them a donation.  Tell them Fr. Z sent you.

UPDATE 27 Feb:

Prior Kirby sent me some great photos of the ceremony of their profession with the Bishop.

17_02_27_Silverstream_01 17_02_27_Silverstream_02 17_02_27_Silverstream_03 17_02_27_Silverstream_04 17_02_27_Silverstream_05

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    If anyone reads the book In Sinu Jesu you will find a little bit about how this miracle came about (and a lot more!).

    (I tried to use Fr. Z’s Amazon link above.)

    And please donate! Something wonderful is happening in our dark world!

  2. Charivari Rob says:

    That’s nice news.

    I’ve gone by near here – the M1 on one side and the old R108 on the other – but I don’t think I’ve ever stopped in Stamullen itself.

    The linked article wasn’t clear – are there any native Irish among the group that came over from Tulsa?

  3. Charivari Rob says:

    They have a good website, too.

    I guess the current news is the latest stage of developments going back to at least 2012.

  4. benedetto-barbarossa says:

    Many thanks, Father Zuhlsdorf, for this post.

    We are profoundly grateful to Almighty God for the granting of this new status, as well as to the Holy See and our Father-in-God the Bishop of Meath, Michael Smith. It is a kind of confirmation that all of the “dura et aspera” (hard and rough things) we experienced in our “peregrinatio pro Christo” from Oklahoma to Ireland (quite mad from a purely human point of view!) were not in vain!

    We are also appreciative of Father’s words about our urgent financial needs. We are growing at this point quite rapidly, and the 11 new cells we just renovated are now not enough to accommodate the numbers of men who are asking to come to observe our life or enter the postulancy and novitiate.

    Further, as can be seen from various photos of our liturgical life, is tiny and extremely cramped, both in terms of our monastic choir and the “nave” (if you can call it that!) for the numbers of the faithful who come to us for Holy Mass.

    There is also a serious need for the expansion of our guesthouse facilities; as many know, our primary focus in terms of hospitality is to priests labouring in the vineyard of the Lord (and seminarians!), in need of a time of quiet, rest, spiritual regeneration, and, frankly, liturgical inspiration/example (as humble as our offerings are at this point).

    To answer Charivari Rob, on 29 February 2012 (leap year!), two of us came from Tulsa — both of us Americans (D. Mark is from New Haven, CT and I am from Denver, CO). Our first Irish vocation, D. Finnian, now well into his triennial vows, is a native of Bohermeen, Navan, Co. Meath (a native son of the diocese). There is another triennially professed, D. Elijah, a native of Tulsa (who came to us after undergraduate studies), who is now studying for Holy Orders.

    Then we have three novices from Sydney, Australia, another from Denmark, and a secular priest from the Archdiocese of St Louis (who just defended his doctoral thesis at the Augustinianum). In the coming weeks, a man from Ohio (an environmental scientist!) will enter the novitiate; and in the coming months, two more men, Americans (Ohio again and Michigan), both Steubenville men. And then there are a number of other men in various stages of inquiry, or who have decided to come for their initial period of observership.

    You are most welcome, Charivari Rob, to visit. We are (sad to say) one of two places in Ireland which have daily public celebrations of the Usus Antiquior. At Silverstream, Conventual Mass (fully sung daily) is offered on weekdays at 11 am, and on Sundays, Feasts of Obligation, and a few of the more important Holy Days at 10. Vespers are sung at 5 pm daily. We also have a lovely bookstore, which some have described as the best Catholic bookstore in Ireland.

  5. benedetto-barbarossa says:

    Correction: “… OUR ORATORY is tiny and extremely cramped, both in terms of our monastic choir and the “nave” (if you can call it that!) for the numbers of the faithful who come to us for Holy Mass. We have plans for the renovation of a beautiful stone building originally used as a cattle shed, which will be called (what else?) ‘Bethlehem’.”

  6. Mariana2 says:


    I heartily recommend Dom Kirby’s for the most wonderful, inspiring writing. You can read excerpts of In Sinu Jesu there, too.

  7. Absit invidia says:

    Praying for their success and the current Ecclesiastical climate at the Vatican doesn’t eventually suppress them. I pray they won’t be just another target for Pope Francis to set his sights on.

  8. jaykay says:

    D. Finnian and D.Elijah accompanied us in the Irish Chapter of the Chartres pilgrimage in 2014. We were unable to have our usual chaplain that year – we were lucky to be able to “borrow” one from the American Chapter for confessions en route, but that was of course temporary – and so their presence was truly inspiring, both spiritually and physically… they never seemed to flag, despite wearing full habit on what turned out to be one of the hotter Chartres pilgrimages! I don’t live all that far away from Silverstream, in Irish terms, but have yet to visit, something I intend to rectify at the earliest opportunity.

  9. Gaz says:

    Great news! Also one in Tasmania, Australia established in the last little while.

  10. bombermac says:

    This is fantastic news for Ireland and for the world! I note with some surprise/delight that the Diocese of Meath website is using a picture of what appears to be the Traditional Latin Mass being celebrated (complete with altar rail and high altar) at its “Vocations” link. Prayers and thanks for Bishop Michael Smith for establishing this new community.

    A birthday gift will be coming the priory’s way.

    With some of the initial members coming from Tulsa, and with this being a Benedictine Priory, is there any relation to traditional monastery of Clear Creek Abbey, east of Tulsa?

    On a related note, it seems like much good has come out of Tulsa. They have Clear Creek, an FSSP parish, and until recently, the traditional Doloran Fathers. I’m overjoyed to read that some of that goodness is taking root in Ireland.

  11. Joseph-Mary says:

    I almost got to visit but had to cancel a pilgrimage to Ireland. I read their blog and send a small monthly donation (to Fr. Z as well!) Do read In Sinu Jesu!!! It brings me near to tears with every reading and I have bought a copy for my pastor and for my spiritual director as Lenten gifts.

  12. Akita says:

    The cheque is in the mail. Thank you for this opportunity, Father Z.

  13. GOR says:

    Wonderful news for my old diocese! Also timely, as Bishop Smith is past retirement age and awaits acceptance of his letter of retirement. Who knows if his future replacement would be as welcoming.

  14. Semper Gumby says:

    Let a Te Deum be sung!

  15. ChgoCatholic says:

    This is wonderful! It reminds me of the Dominican nuns who are in Linden, VA, not far from the wonderful Christendom College. Fr. Z, you may want to profile them if you’ve not done so already (and forgive the mention, if you have).

    Thank you for providing these profiles; it’s very heartening. We are certainly looking to give to all of these religious communities whatever and whenever we can!

  16. Filipino Catholic says:

    A toast to these fellows, toast them with the beer of the Benedictines! Raise a glass of Birra Nursia to these men!

  17. Prayerful says:

    This is just wonderful. They have been in operation for some years, but now Bishop Smith has given them a permanency.

    I’ve send them a donation before and will do so again. It wouldn’t be too hard for me to visit, being north of Dublin and near the M1. The house is said to have a truly great bookshop, what Veritas should be.

    I would hope benedetto-barbarossa does not mind me reminding him Silverstream is one of four places in Ireland offering the Mass of Ages (FSSPX excepted). The ICKSP offer daily Mass in their beautifully restored Sacred Heart church in Limerick (beautiful brass gates installed in a chapel). There is also the Dublin Latin Mass Chaplaincy which has daily Mass in St Kevin’s parish church, SS Peter and Paul church in Cork. Tradition is rejuvenating in Ireland and I think the Masses and prayers of the monks of Silversteam have played a part.

    Thank you again monks of Silverstream for your holy witness.

  18. benedetto-barbarossa says:

    To Bombermac,

    Sometimes people mistakenly think that we are a foundation of Clear Creek. There is no real connection whatsoever with Clear Creek, other than friendly relations, the Holy Rule, and a common outlook in terms of liturgical expression and monastic observance (although no one can beat the French Benedictines for austerity, except for the Carthusians!).

    To Prayerful,

    I ask the forgiveness of good Canon LeBocq and the ICKSP in Limerick! All the more inexcusable since he is a good friend of Silverstream, and we of his apostolate. The other daily Mass centre I thought of was, of course, St Kevin’s (Fr Deighan another great friend, along with Frs. Nevin and Richardson). And I was unaware that Ss. Peter and Paul in Cork had daily Mass throughout the year (I thought it was seasonal only).

    Thank you for your support, and please visit us soon!

    D. Benedict, subprior

  19. benedetto-barbarossa says:

    Fr Z’s readers might also be interested in the following correction we sent out to various media outlets that didn’t quite get all of our details right.



    The Benedictine Monks of Silverstream Priory are overjoyed with the events of last Saturday, 26 February 2017. We are grateful, moreover, for the interest being taken in this event in the news media and among the general public. However, as certain inaccuracies have appeared in news items concerning Silverstream Priory, the monks would like to make some clarifications.

    First, Silverstream Priory has not just been formed. The Benedictine Monks of Perpetual Adoration took root at Silverstream, in Stamullen, Co Meath, early in 2012, at the invitation the Bishop of Meath, the Most Revd Dr Michael Smith. Two American monks, Dom Mark Daniel Kirby (the prior) and Dom Benedict Andersen, arrived at that time to begin the foundation in the house formerly occupied by the Visitation nuns at Silverstream. Four of the current six members are professed, and four have joined the monastery since its foundation. The community counts three priest–monks.

    Second, the make–up of the community is international with members coming from Co. Meath, Australia, Denmark, and the United States.

    Third, the event which took place on 26 February was the official canonical establishment of the Benedictine community at Silverstream Priory as an autonomous (sui iuris) monastery of diocesan right. The Bishop of Meath took this action, after having received the authorisation of the Holy See to do so. The actual celebration included the solemn reading, by the Bishop of Meath, of the canonical Decree establishing the monastery; the installation of the Conventual Prior; the renewal of the vows of the professed monks in the context of Holy Mass; and the singing of the “Te Deum Laudamus”, the Church’s ancient traditional hymn of thanksgiving.

    Fourth, the newly granted canonical status is a recognition of the growth and stability of Benedictine Monks of Silverstream Priory and of its contributions to the life of the Diocese of Meath and of the whole Church in Ireland.

    Finally, the monks would be happy to offer to the media more recent photos of the community, including some of the 26 February event.

    Thank you for your attention in this matter. Feel free to email the monks at info [at] cenacleosb (dot) org for pictures or further information.

  20. Simeon Song says:

    Thank you so much for your support of the monastery, Fr. Z. I just wanted to make a clarification that the Way of the Cross for Priests in not simply to be pray by priests but also by the laity FOR priests. The title is meant to have the double entendre (for lack of betters words). I pray the laity partake in it to offer sacrifices and prayers for our priests.

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