Mount Melleray Abbot to head Cistercians

Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, the Abbot of Mount Melleray Abbey, has been elected Abbot General of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance.

Dom Eamon was chosen by the Cistercian abbots and abbesses of the Order at a meeting yesterday in Assisi, Italy, and took immediate command of the spiritual lives of 2,185 monks and 1,782 nuns.

As the first Irishman to hold this lofty office, he will reside at the Order’s headquarters in Rome, but spend over half the year travelling around the Order’s 97 monasteries of monks and 72 monasteries of nuns in 47 different countries.

There is no fixed term of office for an Abbot General, but he must offer his resignation on reaching 75.

The monks of Mount Melleray will hold an election in the near future to choose a successor to Dom Eamon, their resident spiritual boss for almost two decades.

Dublin-born Dom Eamon first entered Mount Melleray Abbey, Co Waterford, in 1966.

Before his return to Mount Mellary as abbot in 1989, he served or a number of years as chaplain to Cistercian nuns in Abakaliki, Nigeria. Since 2002, he has also been moderator of the Order’s General Chapter of senior abbots and abbesses.


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