SEPT-FONS - On Saturday, July 2nd, 2022, Brother Marie-Alois, a Trappist monk from Latrun, was ordained a priest by His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, at the monastery of Sept-Fons, France.
The choice of the place may seem surprising. However, it is indeed in France, at the Abbey of Sept-Fons (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), that Br. Marie-Alois celebrated his priestly ordination on Saturday, presided by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Ordained a deacon in 2020 in Latrun, the new priest, who has been in the Holy Land for four years, serves at the Abbey of Our Lady of Sorrows (Latrun), where the community of the Cistercian Order of Strict Observance (OCSO) has lived since 1890. There, he is in charge of the vineyards of the abbey, which is famous for its wine.
In spite of its long existence, this community, which evolves in a rather particular context, has few local recruitments. Many of the monks who compose it come from the Abbey of Sept-Fons, the mother house of Latrun. For this reason, Fr. Marie-Alois is still considered a monk of Sept-Fons, even though he was sent to the Holy Land.
However, a member of the Abbey of Latrun he also remains, and it is for this reason that the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Mgr Pizzaballa, was asked to preside over his ordination, rather than the bishop of the diocese of Moulins, to which the Abbey of Sept-Fons is attached. Thus, both the place and the bishop of this ordination have a double symbolism; that of the Holy Land and that of the French roots of the community of Latrun.
Photos credit: Sept-Fons Abbey