Local Communities


Abbey at Night copy

The ultimate value of our human existence and the goal of the Christian life is union with God. This reality has been revealed to humanity in the person of Jesus the Christ.  The Gospels articulate this reality.  The Spirit of God enlightens our understanding of this reality and encourages our response in faith.

The eight LCG local communities are the heart of nourishing and informing members’ participation in the Gethsemani Cistercian charism.  A member’s journey path toward unity with God is enhanced by active participation with others in our local communities (“LC”.) Each community is composed of between ten and twenty-five members who meet at least monthly to:

  1. share and support each other as we become more informed about Cistercian writing and the charism;
  2. offer prayerful attention particularly to the monks at Gethsemani Abbey and to our lay sisters and brothers around the world;
  3. to adopt the Cistercian way in our heart and daily life.

If you are interested in becoming a MEMBER of LCG, please contact the local coordinator who is nearest to the city in which you live:

Caritas  — an online community (United States and Canada)
Our community is composed of members mostly in the Northeastern US who live at quite a distance from one another in the USA and Canada. We have monthly meetings via videoconference and are currently using computer web pages for online discussion, exchange of resources, and exchange of ideas.

The Chicago community meets monthly (second Saturday of the month) at St. Peter’s Church, 110 West Madison Street, Chicago, Illinois.  Many of us gather for Mass at noon, grab a quick bite at a local restaurant, and return to
St. Peter’s at 1:00 pm to begin our meeting of lectio divina, discussion of the common assigned reading for the month, shared spiritual growth, and prayer in the church and as a community.

The  Cincinnati LCG community currently has twenty members.

Our community meets on the second Saturday of each month alternating between a day of prayer or a community formation day. We meet at the Poor Clare’ Monastery of St. Clare for days of prayer, and at Mercy Winton Center both located in Mt. Healthy, Ohio, a few miles north of Cincinnati. In the Spring we have an annual community retreat either at the Moye Spiritual Life Center in Melbourne, Kentucky or at the Abbey of Gethsemani.

We have formed a four member leadership team who coordinates screening and orientation of applicants for our community, initial formation for candidates, and planning for our yearly schedule of events. The team engages the participation of all community members in various functions that support our community’s growth as Lay Cistercians. For more information about our community visit our web site: www.gclcg.org

Gatherings are held the second Saturday of each month from 11am to 1pm.
The group was formed in November, 2004. We meet for prayer, sharing and discussion of various spiritual writings. We devote for sharing, centering prayer, exploring the Cistercians charism and time to eat! The community currently has 9 members.  The usual monthly attendance is 7 people.


Monthly meetings take place at St. Martins of Tour Church in Vallely City, Ohio, from spring through fall and then in the winter months we meet online via zoom. The meeting time is 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. 

The meeting agenda format is: 

  1. Before starting the meeting there is 15 minutes dedicated to announcements, etc. 
  2. We open our meetings with praying the 2:15 None Liturgy of the hours. 
  3. Then the community participates in a group Lectio Divina with sharing. 
  4. Community sharing on an assigned reading of one of the following: vigil readings/chapter talks, review of specific elements of the Plan of Life, a selected book reading. Sometimes we watch a spiritual video presentation and then have a discussion. 
  5. Social time to share something personal in our lives that would be a special event, a God moment, a burden etc. 
  6. End meeting with silent prayer intentions. 


The Northern Indiana branch meets monthly to discuss Cistercian spirituality and what has brought us to this change in our lives. We share ideas on what we are reading and experiencing


The Kentucky Lay Cistercians originally started meeting in Louisville in 1990 at the Merton Center located on the campus of Bellarmine University.  Currently we meet at the Abbey of Gethsemani on the first Sunday of every month.

A second branch meets on the 3rd Saturday of the month to serve members unable to meet on Sundays due to ministry commitments or other reasons.  Most months approximately 8-10 people are able to attend the Sunday meeting.

Currently, we have two branch communities that meet separately due to the geography of our state. One group in West Tennessee meets in Memphis, and one group in Middle Tennessee, meeting in Nashville. The TN LCG formed in 2004 with two members, Juli Gallup (Nashville) and Gray Matthews (Memphis). Both groups now have 5-10 members (either full or members currently “in formation”). There have been a few individuals who have expressed interests in LCG from East Tennessee but have not yet formed a branch community or regular meetings (some have lived closer to groups in Kentucky and have met with them). We have recently started what we hope will be an annual event of spending a day of reflection with each other at one of our state parks as a way to sustain communion in addition to annual retreats at Gethsemani.

The coordinator of the Memphis group is Judy Weddle and the coordinator for the Nashville group is John Duckett. As coordinators for the Tennessee community, John and Gray serve as our representatives on the LCG Advisory Council. Memphis and Nashville are partners in seeking to cheer each other on, offer encouragement to stay the course, and exhort each other to greater discipline and commitment in learning what our cells teach us. We strive to support each other’s efforts to live a deeper contemplative life by sharing a life of mutual prayer, as well as our journeys and ourselves in humility. We have found the Cistercian tradition, in particular, to speak to all of us. We pray for the monks at Gethsemani, and we try to live in solidarity with Gethsemani. These efforts, we find, anchor us as we respond to the calls and recalls to remain committed, not to an organization or a single activity, but to God Alone.

The Midland Michigan LCG; is a community which began with 3 people in mid 1990’s and became an official LCG community in June of 2001, we continue to be blessed with growth. We meet monthly for prayer, centering, sharing and development in the Cistercian way. It is in the sharing of our lives and how we each live our Plan of Life in ‘our world’ that we encourage and learn from one another and grow in the Cistercian Way.

We study various books or Cistercian documents together, in order to grow in our knowledge of the Cistercian way. We have studied the Exordium, “Monastic Practices” as well as other books and documents on Centering Prayer, Lectio and other Cistercian tools.

We also share our lives deeply with one another at our meetings at various member homes, community work projects and as we get together two or three times a year for a social evening with our spouses.  We are always interested in new members in Michigan.

Spiritus — an online community (United States and Canada)
Our community is composed of members who live at quite a distance from one another in the USA and Canada. We have monthly meetings via videoconference and are currently using computer web pages for online discussion, exchange of resources, and exchange of ideas.   We hope to also have semi-annual retreats.