LOCATION AND ROUTES
Location : 11 km from the eastern outskirts of Bengaluru in Byrathi, near the Seventh mile stone on the Hennur Bagalur road.
By Car : Upon arrival in Bangalore, proceed via Davis Road, paezold Road and Lingarajapuram onto the Hennur – Bagalur road to the village of Byrathi. At the seventh mile stone, take the turning to the right at the grotto of Our Lady and follow the signs to the Abbey.
By Bus : From City Market, majestic or Shivajinagar bus stands, take bus nos. 293, 293 B,D,E,F. 294, 295 to Byrathi. From Majestic bus stand 295 A. 296 or 296 A to Byrathi.
By Rail : From Bengaluru City railway station, take the subway to Majestic B.T.S bus station (opposite) and follow directions “By Bus”, From Bangalore. East railway station, proceed to Lingarajapuram bus stop and take one of the buses mentioned in “By Bus”, or a Taxi or auto from Bangalore Cantonment railway station, take a taxi or auto to the monastery following directions “By Car”.
By Air : From Bengaluru Airport, take a taxi to Byrathi.
BENEDICTINE NUNS OF SHANTI NILAYAM ABBEY
BENGALURU ARCHDIOCESE – LATIN RITE
Founded on 26.07.1970
In 1962, Lady Abbess of St. Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde, England was requested by Fr. Benedict Alapatt OSB to undertake the monastic formation of Indian girls, with a view to starting Benedictine contemplative life for women in India. In 1963, seven girls began their novitiate in Ryde.
In 1966, two nuns from St. Cecilia’s Abbey set out for India. A twelve acre site was found in Byrathi Village, seven miles from Bangalore city and, in 1967, the foundation stone of Shanti Nilayam was laid. By 1970 the Indian sisters and returned from England and on July 26th 1970, the new monastery and chapel were blessed by the then Archbishop of Bangalore, Rt. Rev. Lourdusamy. In 1982, Shanti Nilayam became a Priory and in 1993, it was raised to the status of an Abbey.
The activities of the nuns include making altar bread church vestments candles, screen printing, running a poultry / dairy farm a vineyard and doing cultivation of fruits and vegetables. They also run a retreat house.
St. Cecilia’s Abbey
Ryde Isle of Wight, PO33 ILH
Mother Nirmala Narikunnel 12.07.1952 08.12.1979
(Elected Abbess 10.4.2014)
1.Mother Teresita D’Silva 07.11.1933 02.07.1966
2.Sr.Stella Savarimuthu-Prioress 15.08.1952 15.08.1978
3.Sr. Bridget Ezhanikkatt-Sub Prioress 11.09.1951 15.08.1978
4.Sr. Regine George 08.09.1943 07.08.1972
*5.Sr.Iona Misquitta 22.10.1934 17.10.1955
6.Sr. Amala Rajendran 11.05.1954 08.12.1981
7.Sr. Alphonsa Thommaiiagappan 19.08.1953 07.10.1982
8.Sr. Theresa Vargese 12.12.1953 08.09.1985
9.Sr. Jyothi Pushpam 01.02.1957 08.09.1985
10.Sr. Elizabeth Payyappilly 01.07.1962 08.09.1987
11.Sr. Jacintha Toppo 26.07.1956 24.03.1990
12.Sr. Maria Pragasi Susai 12.01.1964 24.03.1990
13.Sr. Lucy Anthony 13.12.1964 02.02.1992
14.Sr. Mary Xavier Muthu 17.09.1946 02.02.1992
15.Sr. Ritha Matthew 26.03.1963 01.01.1993
16.Sr. Benedicta Toppo 07.01.1969 02.02.1995
17.Sr. Michelle Kerketta 09.04.1970 10.02.1996
18.Sr. Felicitas Kullu 09.02.1964 10.02.1996
19.Sr. Hermina Purty 28.02.1952 21.11.1996
20.Sr. Bernadine Joseph Kadappoor 20.08.1966 01.11.1998
21.Sr. Ignatia Topno 03.11.1967 08.09.2006
22.Sr. Anna Mukta Bading 10.08.1976 08.09.2006
1.Sr. Gloria Dass 28.04.1986 07.10.2008
2.Sr.Severina Nazari 09.08.1979 07.10.2008
3.Sr. Magadelene Naguntu 02.02.1984 02.02.2010
4.Sr. Margurate Lum 09.07.1982 22.08.2011
5.Sr. Lucia Za 16.03.1984 22.08.2011
6.Sr. Veronica Hau 12.02.1985 22.08.2012
7.Sr. Martha Cing 23.02.1989 22.08.2012
8.Sr.Julia Thawng Nei Ting 22.08.2012
9.Sr.Maria Lun 17.11.1983 15.08.2013
10.Sr.Angela Vung Boih 01.05.1988 15.08.2013
1.Anne Marie 06.10.1993
Solemn professed-22, Juniors-9, Posulants-2, - Candidate -1 Secular Oblates-40
Sr. Bernadette RIP 17.05.1993
Sr. Scholastica RIP 23.12.2005
The work of God
The singing of God’s praises by the daily Celebration of the DIVINE OFFICE or the “Work of God”, as St.Benedict calls it, is the Benedictine Nun’s great life work. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the shining center of the Sacred Liturgy and the monastic day. The circuit of praise which seven times a day rises from the monastic choir, is made up of psalms, Scripture readings, readings from the Fathers, Hymns and prayers, all of which has been hallowed by centuries of worship in the Church. The beauty of the Gregorian Chant, ever ancient and ever new, leads the soul into the infinitely more beautiful silence of God.
The Monastic Day
Interspersed between liturgical services are times for private prayer, study, work and recreation. The right balance between study and activity, interwoven with the Divine Office, gives the Benedictine life that spaciousness, that tranquil breadth of mind and simplicity so characteristic of it. St.Benedict was noted for discretion.
The Monastic Day includes:
1.Lectio Divina or Sacred Studies, which are means of remaining in contact with the treasures of Revelation and as a continued approach to Christ.
2.Regular time devoted to private prayer, the silent contemplation of the Divine Presence.
3.Community Recreation , times of relaxation and exercise of fraternal charity.
4.Work is also an important part of our life, the Monastic Motto being “Ora et Labora” “Pray and Work”. St.Benedict in the 6th Century recognized the dignity of labour. He says in his Rule “Then are they truly monks when they work by the labour of their own hands”. Like the primitive Benedictines, we cultivate the soil, grow grain, vegetables and fruits. We have a poultry farm, a dairy farm, a coffee and coconut grove and a vineyard, vegetable and fruit garden. We make altar bread, church vestments, greeting cards and Candles. In the Monastic life, no one is asked to forgo her natural gifts but is encouraged to use them for God’s service. We also have a Retreat House. Hospitality is offered to Religious and laity for individual and group retreats and days of recollection, and for young women who wish to study the monastic life.
We have Oblates who are lay people, trying to live a more perfect life in the world, according to the spirit of the Holy Rule of St.Benedict. They share the riches of our Benedictine Spirituality and carry into the world the peace of the Benedictine inspiration. November 21st the Feast o the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple is Oblates Day. Every year our Oblates renew their act of Oblation on this day. We try to organize a reunion on this day and sometimes a few days of Retreat before Oblates day. At present we have 26 Oblates. Oblates form one family with the Benedictine Community.
Benedictine Contemplative Today
The Benedictine Contemplative life has its own positive contribution to make to the life of the church by the witness of Prayer and Work, promotion of Liturgical worship and the renewal of that authentic Gospel spirit called for by the Second Vatican Council as Perfacte Caritatis says:’
“Communities which are entirely dedicated to contemplation, so that their members in solitude and silence, with constant prayer and penance, willingly undertaken, occupy themselves with God alone, retain at all times, no matter how pressing the needs of the active apostolate may be, an honourable place in the mystical Body of Christ, whose members do not all have the same function. For these offer to God a sacrifice of praise which is outstanding…thus they are revealed to be a glory of the Church and well-spring of heavenly graces”. Benedictine monasticism with its 1500 years of tradition is rooted in the timeless and can offer to every age and culture a fresh application of its basic principles of Worship, Work and Community Life. Today as in the 6th century, St.Benedict’s Holy Rule can radiate its light and point the way to a great Spiritual Revival in India.
Shanti Nilayam, Benedictine Abbey, Kothanur P.O. Bangalore 560077, INDIA