Monastery and World:
Live in Both

  • Live in our community part-time or full-time

  • Participate in our daily activities

  • Learn to live monastically
    in the world

  • Cultivate the spirit of contemplative spirituality

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Information about the Associates

A Lay Cistercian Group
affiliated with
Route 5 Box 1056
Ava, MO 65608
(417) 683 - 5110

The Associates of Assumption Abbey (AAA) of Ava, Missouri, is an association of lay Cistercians which began to develop in 1995.

Lay Cistercians are persons who desire a lifestyle of continual conversion in order to "truly seek God" and to "prefer nothing whatever to Christ." (St. Benedict's Rule for Monasteries, 72.11) Drawn together by the common inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we endeavor to live out the Cistercian charism "in ways that can be modified according to our own circumstances in life." (Constitutions of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observace, Preface 3)

During the 1980's groups of lay individuals first began to form communities related to particular Cistercian monasteries with the desire to adapt the Cistercian charism to lay life. This has developed into many oblate and associate communities with varying degrees of organization. The primary concern of the members of these groups is to enhance, in their own lives and in the lives of those they touch, a contemplative spirituality, one based on the Cistercian Benedictine tradition.

The different groups have developed guidelines intended to integrate the monastic disciplines of prayer, work, study, silence, solitude, simplicity, and service/ministry into their every-day lifestyle.

The St. Louis group of the Associates of Assumption Abbey meets monthly for prayer, reading (Lectio Divina), study, and discussion. A yearly retreat at Assumption Abbey is encouraged. A monthly newsletter fosters contact among the group and with the monastery. The membership includes both men and women.

For further information please contact:

Mary Runde