Caldey Abbey retreat 30 June - 2 July 2009

Below is a report on last years retreat:


Mass of the Most Precious Blood Caldey

The Latin Mass Society retreat to Caldey Island

The Latin Mass Society was invited by Fr O'Brien of Caldey Abbey to celebrate an Extraordinary Form Mass there. This became a Latin Mass Society's retreat between the 30th June to July 2. The photo to the left shows Fr Jason Jones celebrating the Mass of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the 1st July 2009. All the Latin Mass Society's Masses during the retreat took place at St Illtyd's which was the Church of the Old Medieval priory.

A tribute to Fr Robert O'Brien

We are sad to learn that on 8th July Fr Robert O’Brien died after a lifetime as a Cistercian monk of Abbey of Our Lady and St Samson, Caldey Island, Requiescat in Pace. We are very grateful to him for inviting the Latin Mass Society to Caldey. Please pray for his eternal rest and we look forward to his intercession from on high for the work of Latin Mass Society.


A short histoy Caldey Abbey and Island

Caldey Abbey

Caldey island lies to the south of the little fishing and tourist town of Tenby in south west Wales. The island has a long history of monastic activity, even its Welsh name Ynys Bry or Pyro’s Island, was named after its first abbot in the 6th century. During the 10th century the Celtic monastery was abandoned probably due to Viking raids. The name Caldey is Norse for Island of the Spring and even today the island has its own excellent supply of fresh water. In the 12th century monasticism returned to Caldey with Benedictine monks from St Dogmaels Abbey in North Pembrokeshire who built a priory, which is still there and is known today as The Old Priory.  In 1536 Henry VIII forced the priory to close when he dissolved Britain’s monasteries.


When the priory church was re-consecrated as a Catholic church in 1913 it was dedicated to St Illtyd, an early Celtic monk. The new Monastery and Abbey Church was built further down the hill, between 1910 and 1912 by Anglican Benedictine monks who converted to Catholicism in 1913. In 1925 financial difficulties forced them to sell the Abbey to the Cistercian Order and in 1929 a group of monks came from Scourmont Abbey, Chimay in Belgium and established a ‘daughter house’.  They adopted an early Abbot of Caldey, St Samson, as their patron saint and rededicated the monastery as The Abbey of Our Lady and St Samson. The Cistercians are still here and they make their living by farming, and making perfume and chocolate (but not in the same place I hasten to add). Also, between Easter and October a fleet of little boats run from Tenby to Caldey and bring day trippers to the island. The crossing takes about 20 minutes. The Island is closed on Sundays.


Members of the Latin Mass Society with Fr Jason Jones

LMS members with Fr Jones

The photo to the left shows members of the Latin Mass Society with Fr Jason Jones outside the Old Priory Church of St Illtyd, after the Mass of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Many thanks are extended to Fr Jason Jones for leading our retreat, to Fr Senan the Guestmaster and to all on Caldey Island from making our retreat a special one. Last but not least thanks to the members of the LMS to Jeff and Sylvia Pillar for sending me the photos (mine did not come out porbable water in my camera).

SM LMS Rep for Menevia



The Latin Mass Society

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