Tautringer english

First Profession of Sr. Anne

On December 8 we had the joy of witnessing Sr Anne’s first profession of Cistercian vows. Anne Sieminski was born in Northern France but moved to Strasbourg to study geophysics, which brought her to Norway for a 6-month internship in 2001. Though she enjoyed living in Norway, she had no plan to come back to stay! Eventually she got a job at the University of Grenoble. Grenoble is a dangerous place if you have some idea of monastic life. When Anne lived there all the monastic orders were still present in the diocese or nearby.

  • 3
  • 2


Sr. Anne entered at the Visitation in Voiron, not so far from La Grande Chartreuse, where she stayed 5 years and made her “first first profession”. But it seemed at some point she needed fresh, colder air and a gust of funny wind blew her to Tautra. Sr Anne was clothed in the Cistercian habit on December 8, 2017 and made her “second first profession” on December 8, 2019. One of the gifts she received was a pair of cross-country skis!

Construction has begun!

Just before Christmas Mother Brigitte signed the contract with Grande Entreprenør to build our infirmary wing. In order to be within our revised budget of 25 million kroner (reduced from 30 million), we asked Grande to take all the furniture out of the proposal, and leave 3 of the 4 regular cells unfinished. Due to the generosity of many faithful donors, we now see that we can finish those 3 cells. In the contract Grande has promised to finish the new wing before Christmas this year!

Our architects Runa Bjerke and Ragnhild Forde made some ingenious changes to the plans in order to reduce the budget. The building is shorter and more compact, and by being closer to the existing building, we save a lot by not having to pay so much for the digging work which is expensive. The chapel has been moved to the end closest to the stairs and lift. Once again, out of difficulties, God has brought a better solution!

We have a separate budget for furniture and for landscaping, and we hope we continue to receive gifts that will cover these needs so we can really bring the project to completion. Tusen takk to everyone for your support!

It is thrilling to hear the backhoe making the access road. Next they will set up barracks for the workers. Then they will prepare the ground where they will pour the concrete for the floor. If all goes according to the schedule, this would be at the end of March.

You can follow the progress of the building on www.tautra.no and our Facebook page.

We are especially grateful to all of you who continue to support our way of life and whose generosity will bring new life to our older sisters when the infirmary wing is completed.

Hymn evening

Last year on Ascension we hosted a “hymn evening”, an open arrangement in our church led by pastor Odd Halvor Moen and musicians Jorunn and Hans Melhus. We thought maybe 20 people would show up. Apparently Norwegians love to sing hymns, because the church was packed! Odd Halvor is Sr Agnes’ organ teacher, and when he discovered we sing many of the same hymns as the Lutherans, he proposed an ecumenical evening of singing God’s praises together. It was also an opportunity to explain the theology behind the church’s liturgical year and give insight into how we celebrate it in the monastery. The evening was such a success we plan to repeat it this Ascension Thursday, if the coronavirus has been contained.

In February we benefited from a week’s workshop given by Marie Hogg on the spirituality of self-esteem. Many of the older sisters have had workshops like this in the past, but many of the newer sisters have not. Marie Hogg is the director of the sabbatical program at St Mary’s Monastery, Kinnoull, Scotland, which Sr Sheryl attended last fall.

We all tend to get down on ourselves when we live by others’ words instead of God’s Word. God says we are:

  • The image and likeness of God
  • Fallen and restored
  • Precious in God’s sight
  • Little less than a god and crowned with glory and beauty
  • Reborn of water and the Spirit
  • God’s temple
  • Temple of the Holy Spirit
  • God’s work of art
  • The body of Christ.

These are our core beliefs. As Pope Francis says, Our surname is God! When we accept the truth about ourselves then we can accept ourselves, and when we accept ourselves just as we are, then we can esteem the person God has made us. Self-esteem is a basic human need and essential for full growth in the spiritual life.

St Pope John Paul II says, “Those who wish to understand themselves thoroughly…must with all their unrest, uncertainty and even their weakness and sinfulness, with their life and death, draw near to Christ. They must, so to speak, enter into him with their own self, they must ‘appropriate’ and assimilate the whole reality of the Incarnation and the Redemption in order to find themselves. If this profound process takes place within them, they then bear fruit not only in adoration of God but also of deep wonder at themselves. In reality, the name for that deep amazement at human worth and dignity is the Gospel, that is to say: the Good News. It is also called Christianity. This amazement determines the Church’s mission in the world and, perhaps even more so “in the modern world”.

It is good news indeed that we don’t have to remain stuck in negative patterns of thinking, but can actually change our outlook on ourselves and others.

Dom Daniel of Caldey is making our official biennial visitation in March. We have recently had changes in our formation personnel: Sr Lisbeth is the contact for observers, Sr Christina is novice director, and Sr Sheryl is junior director. At this time we have 4 juniors and no novices or postulants. There are a few women who are discerning whether to join us and we pray God will make the way clear for them.

Two new kittens !!!

We got two new kittens named Smitt and Smule. “Smule” is the Norwegian word for “crumb” but he has grown so much he has outgrown his name!

As we “go up to Jerusalem” toward the celebration of the central mystery of our faith, Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection, we bring you all with us in our prayers that our living of monastic life will bear fruit in our world that has so many challenges to human life “lived to the full”.

We remember you every day in our prayers and continually thank God for so many good friends all over the world.

We are here for you!