This is a rich collection of memories and reflections from the long-time abbot of La Trappe, Dom Marie-Gérard Dubois, OCSO. Starting with his entry into monastic life, he walks the reader through the dramatic changes in the Strict Observance of the Cistercian Order, including its liturgical reform and developments in the role of lay brothers. Dom Dubois also shares stories about the diverse group of men who entered the Order at that time, including WWII veterans, Holocaust survivors, and members of the French literary elite, and why they decided to become monks. His stories offer a fascinating inside view into twentieth-century Cistercian life.
Dom Marie-Gérard Dubois was born in Lille, France, in 1929 in a family of seven children. In 1947 he entered the Trappist Monastery of Mont-des-Cats, where he became master of novices and then prior. After a short stay as Superior ad Nutum at Cîteaux, Dubois was elected abbot of the Monastery of La Grande Trappe in Soligny, France. During his twenty-five years as abbot he presided over many commissions responsible for implementing the reforms of Vatican Council II in the Cistercian Order. Dom Dubois also presided for thirty years over the French-speaking Commission on Liturgy. He is the author of two books: Le Bonheur en Dieu (Paris: Robert Laffont, 1995) and La Joie en Dieu (Paris: Presses de la Renaissance, 2010). In 2011, Dom Dubois returned to the Lord.
Georges A. Hoffmann is an attorney and a lay Cistercian at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Conyers, Georgia.
Jean Truax has a PhD in medieval history; she is an independent scholar and author of Ralph d'Escures, William of Corbeil and Theobald of Bec: Heirs of Anselm and Ancestors of Becket, and Aelred the Peacemaker: The Public Life of a Cistercian Abbot.