Friday, 11 September 2015

Abbaye Saint-Paul de Wisques

The Benedictine Abbey of Saint Paul of Wisques is located in Wisques, Pas-de-Calais, France.  It was founded in 1889 by monks from the Abbey of St Peter, Solesmes to serve as chaplains to the nearby nuns of St. Cecilia of Solesmes.  After the anti-Catholic laws in 1901, they moved to the Netherlands and founded the Abbey of Saint-Paul of Oosterhout.  The community returned to Wisques in 1920.  At one point, the Abbey had 60 monks in residence.

In 2005, Father Jacques Lubrez was elected the fifth Abbot of Saint Paul.  In 2009, just a few weeks before his unexpected death, he wrote "Today in 2009: 120 years after the foundation, the community is experiencing a precarious situation, considering the reduced number of its members (16), the high average age (70 years), and the lack of new applicants in many years."  In 2013, the average age of the monks had increased to over 75 years old.  The Abbey was close to closing its doors until the Abbey of Fontgombault was asked to take over the Abbey of Saint Paul.  In January 2013, four monks arrived from Fontgombault to begin teaching the remaining monks the traditional Office and to support the day-to-day and practical activities of the Abbey.  In October 2013, the Abbey transitioned to a house of Fontgombault Abbey with the bishop's approval, adopting the uses and customs of Fontgombault, in particular the use of the Extraordinary Form for Mass and the Office.  Photos from the transition can be found at this Facebook album.

Abbaye Saint Paul de Wisques
50, Rue de l’école
62219 Wisques
Tél. : 03 21 12 28 50

Hours of the Office
5:15am: Matines (On Sundays, 4:50am), followed by Lauds
At the end of Lauds (around 7:00am): Low Mass (lasting from 30-35 minutes)
8:15am: Prime
10:00am: Terce and the sung conventual Mass
12:50pm: Sext
2:35pm: None (Sundays at 3pm, Thursday at 2:30pm)
6:00pm: Vespers (Sundays and feast days: 5:00pm; summer Thursdays from 3 May to 14 September: 3:45pm)
8:35pm: Compline

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