Abbey of the Genesee, Piffard

The Abbey of the Genesee is a community of more than two dozen contemplative monks located near Piffard in the town of York, New York. They are a member of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, commonly known as the Trappists. They were founded from the Abbey of Gethsemani in Bardstown, Kentucky in 1951.
The monks' work largely consists of baking a brand of bread called Monks' Bread which is available commercially in Rochester, New York and other nearby markets in western New York. The sale of the bread helps support the abbey and its inhabitants. The bread was first prepared solely for the monks by one of the community, and a demand for loaves from outsiders gradually led to the commercial operation.
The bread is baked several times each week in the early hours of the morning. For that reason the monks go to bed around seven at night in order to rise about two in the morning. For reasons of security and hygiene, it is not possible to observe the baking process except through slides and photographs.
Several varieties of bread are baked, including white, whole wheat, multi-grain, and raisin, along with a number of other products such as jams and fruitcakes.
The abbey is open from 2:00 am until 7:00 pm. Casual visitors are able to enter only a restricted part of the abbey. The abbey is open to serious individual guests and small groups who wish to make a retreat and avail themselves of the counseling of the monks. A small fee is charged to cover expenses.
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Abbey of the Genesee Reviews
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  • Where to begin? The Abbey of the Genesee comprises: a chapel, where services are held throughout the day, every day; a recently expanded shop selling their wonderful bread (including some "artisanal" ...  more »
  • Get your Monks Bread here! And wonderful homemade jams! And catch a mass to hear BEAUTIFUL singing if that's your thing.  more »
  • This is one of my favorite places in the entire world. I’ve stayed at the Bethlehem Retreat house and Mike Souter, the manager, is the best. The cooks are also so helpful and make such tasty hearty and healthy food. Going away every year helps me keep balance. This place has such an anointing, the silence and solitude I am able to have here allows me to be able to hear God clearer. I am forever grateful for this place and to these monks who live a life open to God’s presence and pray each and every day for our world.
  • A silent retreat at this most holy refugee has truly presented an opportunity to commune oneself with Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Abbey of the Genesee is a most sacred place where one can experience the joy, love, mercy and magnificence of our Lord.

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