Benefactors and donors
Please send your gift to:
In the United States
Send your check to
Abbey of Nový Dvůr
Dobrá Voda 20
CZ 364 01 Touzim
or make the bank transfer to UniCredit Bank (Czech Republic)
USD IBAN: CZ09 2700 0000 0000 7664 0012
EUR IBAN: CZ84 2700 0000 0000 7664 0020
In the United Kingdom
The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), a registered charity in the UK (No. 268369), has provided support for projects in the past and is happy to accept UK tax-effective donations which you can suggest to be used for the Nový Dvůr project. UK tax payers can obtain further information from CAF +44 (0) 1732 520151
For further information email@example.com
The monastery of Novy Dvur was designed by Mr. John Pawson www.johnpawson.com and his team of collaborators in London. We would especially like to thank Vishwa Kaushal, head of the studio, Pierre Saalburg, head of the project, Ségolène Getti and Stéphane Orsolini for their commitment to this project.
The restoration of the Baroque wing and the technical documentation have been the responsibility of Mr. Jan Soukup and his studio in Plzen www.atelier-soukup.cz, in particular Mr.e Antonín Svehla, engineer, and David Cigler and Ondrej Smetana, draftsmen. We greatly appreciate their professional diligence.
The work of construction has been the responsibility of Starkon Jihlava www.starkon.cz and its numerous subcontractors, a list of whom follows. the company Skanska a.s. has been responsible for the major works of the church, and Berger a.s. for the roadworks. We would like to thank as well Mr. Jiří Kovář, company director, and his collaborators, especially Mr. Stanislav Pik, Mr. Pavol Gencur, Mr. Stanislav Pik, Mr. Jiří Hrdlička, Mr. Jiří Ježek, Mr. Filip Vech, Mr. Oldrich, Flavo Kolarik and their collaborators. Also Mr. Václav Maršík and Mr. Petr Stranský, Josef Lašák, Jan Zvára and Jarmil Svoboda from the office of engineers Bolid-M www.bolid-m.cz, who coordinated the works as a whole.
All have accepted the modesty of our means, which complicated further their work and was also reflected in the level of their remuneration.
The construction of the monastery began in May 2000, with the exception of some preparatory works in 1999. the foundations of the church were laid in the spring of 2001; its construction began in August 2003. We had hoped to complete work on the cloister complex before the Dedication, but a shortage of funds at the beginning of the summer means that parts remain unfinished.
The celebration of the Dedication gives the monks of Novy Dvur the chance to thank their numerous benefactors in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Belgium, the United States, Italy, Switzerland and Holland, who have supported the construction for five years, as well as the Abbey of Sept-Fons and the many monasteries of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, the monastery of Flavigny and numerous other religious communities. Our thanks go as well to the Foundation of Monasteries, the Ministers of Culture and the Environment in the Czech Republic, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Renovabis, Kirche in Not, Serra International, Mutuelle Saint-Christophe Assurances, Bettencourt-Paris Foundations, Raskob Foundation-USA and a number of other organisations. Our thanks go also to those companies who have accorded us exceptional terms: Starkon Jihlava (CZ), Lafarge France, Lafarge Cement, Lafarge Gyps (DE), Lafarge Polska (PL), Saint-Gobain PAM (FR), Alcatel, Ardoisières d'Angers (FR), Arup Acoustics (GB), Attema (NL), Betsinor (FR), Bolid-M (CZ), CEAM Amadeo (I), Česká Spořitelna a.s.,Dornbracht (DE), FSB (DE), Gabotherm (DE), KKH Brno, Glaverbel, Haeffele (DE), Keso (DE), International Conseil Energie (FR), Mazars et Guérard, Peugeot Praha, Ochrana Vod (CZ), Pánské krejčovství Krtička, Povltavské Mlékárny-Bongrain, Sokolovská Uhelná, Starkon Jihlava, Tilo (ÖS), Transports Gondrand, TPS Consult (GB), Weinerberger (DE), Jung (DE), ZČE and to those who have been involved in the work of construction.
Is it justifiable to ask you for money?
Among the friends of Sept-Fons and of Novy Dvur, some live comfortably, while others are scraping to get by, as we well know. The following reflection is addressed to the first group. Let it be clear to everyone that the primary goal of our mailings is not to ask for money. However, the question remains: is it right? It’s not easy to find an answer to this, and there can be doubts about it. These doubts are respectable, even if the arguments brought forth are sometimes a bit superficial: “The paper for their letters is expensive! Soon the monks will be living better than us! Etc.” Let us begin by debunking these hasty impressions. Shiny paper with a luxurious appearance often costs less than a recycled paper, which gives an impression of economy. And concerning the standard of living of these monks – let’s clarify a little.
When Peter Damian, who would become a saint, but who was still but a cardinal, visited Cluny as a legate to Pope Alexander III, he was shocked by the abundance of food. The abbot Hugh, who was not yet a saint, but who would also become one, counselled the imprudent one to lead the life of a monk for just eight days. The cardinal accepted the lesson and recognized right away – and graciously – that the abbot of Cluny was right. That quickly cut back the criticism, and Peter Damian retained an admiring memory of his visit.
The dormitory where we sleep, though furnished with good mattresses, would shock most of our benefactors. We do not even have our own sinks. We never go on vacation, to the movies, or to the theatre. Radio and television are foreign to us. Only newspapers and books keep us up with current events. The dining room is modest: even though, for a solemn profession or an ordination, we are not afraid to prepare a good meal for our guests and for ourselves, our fare is ordinarily simple and always without meat. We all have identical clothing. Often it is patched up, with cheap sandals, and, except for the brothers who leave the grounds regularly as part of their work, the others have no personal outdoor coat. If they have to go out of the monastery, before leaving, they take one in their size from the cloak room; they put it back upon their return. The Father Abbot of Novy Dvur has no car; when he must travel, he takes one of the three community vehicles (for twenty-five brothers). We are not counting the tractors or the work vehicles in which the brothers go to work in the forest; half of these are given to us by friends, the others bought for pennies. The tractors? One is two years older than our Father Prior, who is forty years old; the other is as old as one of our novices – twenty-seven years old. They already had a long career behind them at the time of our foundation.
We work less than we would in the world, that is true, but it is at a sustained rhythm – without mentioning that we consecrate several hours a day to group and personal prayer. Since our budget is currently in good shape, whenever it is possible, we give to others a part of the fruit of our labour or even of your gifts, if the need arises. You have been alerted. Nobody would be surprised that we do not do any advertising about our giving (Do not let your left hand know... Mt 6:3).
A monastic community made up of adults (25 at Novy Dvur, 80 at Sept-Fons) whom God calls to live a life of prayer, who work on site, who receive guests, who conduct the formation of the younger members, who take care of the sick and watch over the dying, needs an infrastructure that resembles a village more than a family residence. Its work does not let it build or maintain without help. Benedict XVI repeats it often. We are sincerely thankful to those who understand this. They permit us to last and to develop, according to the rhythm of the vocations that God sends us.
It is true that it is never easy to discern – not for us nor for you – the frontier between simplicity and abundance, to perceive when it is that useless luxury begins to appear, in what measure it is right to give, how much and to whom.
At Novy Dvur, we still are in need of your help. The day will come when the fruit of our work will be enough to finish these last construction projects. On that day, we will let you know. Sept-Fons, where over 40 brothers are in formation, supports communities without resources at the other end of the world. Your generosity is and will remain welcome for a long time, given the state of the buildings, in spite of the competence of the cellarer. It is up to you to be the judge: give if you can!
You have doubtless read in the newspapers that the Czech government is getting ready, apparently, to give back to the Catholic Church and to other communities of believers a part of the goods that the communists had stolen from them (a little less than half). One would think that this makes for a huge sum. In reality, at the end of the process, which will last thirty years, the Church will be poorer than today, since the aid of the state to dioceses and religious will be progressively reduced and finally ended. We experienced something analogous in France over a century ago. The generosity of Christians will always remain indispensable for the life of the Church. Always? Even Saint Paul, from the very beginning, organised collections (Ac 11:29-30 and 2Co 8:1-9:15).
Father George, cellarer of Nový Dvůr Nový Dvůr