Spanning almost 200 years since 1825, Our Lady of Grace Monastery has been home to a number of religious orders beginning with the French Trappists in 1825 and most recently the Augustinian Contemplative Nuns who arrived at Our Lady of Grace Monastery in 2008. In August, 2022 in declining numbers and with some members experiencing ill health, these Sisters were called back to Rome by their Mother Prioress at Monastero Agostiniano Saint Lucia in Rome from where they originated.
In November of 2022, the governing Sisters in Rome relinquished ownership of the Monastery property and responsibility for the outstanding mortgage to Our Lady of Grace Monastery Foundation. The Canada Revenue Agency has approved the continuance of the Foundation as a Canadian Registered Charity. The by-laws have been amended to provide for local ownership and governance through a nine member Board of Directors assisted by a group of dedicated volunteers.
The closures of St. Joseph Renewal Centre in Mabou and the retreat facilities at the Bethany Motherhouse have left the Diocese of Antigonish and our entire province in dire need of a tranquil, peaceful facility for the coming together of faith seeking persons and organizations for prayer, reflection and spiritual renewal. Our Lady of Grace Monastery with its chapel, hillside shrine and walking trail, guest house, dormitory rooms, classrooms, library, office, kitchen and dining areas is ideally suited to fill the need.
In August, 2019 the appeal of Our Lady of Grace Monastery was evidenced through a Divine Mercy Conference facilitated by the Fathers of Mercy from Auburn, Kentucky. This event attracted over 300 people from all three Maritime Provinces and a much requested follow up conference was sidelined by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In October 2018, when Our Lady of Grace Monastery was threatened with possible sale and closure, many responded and the outpouring of support resulted in a negotiated purchase of certain Our Lady of Grace Monastery lands inclusive of the structures, the cemetery and Our Lady of Grace Shrine.
In response to an engineering assessment in 2018, a number of improvements and upgrades have been completed to the Monastery infrastructure including two propane fired boilers to replace the antiquated wood furnace, chapel roof repairs, a new well, wifi installation and refurbishment of the retreat house guest rooms.
Discussions with Augustinian religious institutions and congregations are ongoing in the hope of bringing additional residents to Our Lady of Grace Monastery in the near term.
Even if you are unable to donate, you can still help by sharing this page with family and friends!