Abbey of the Genesee

Piffard, New York, United States

  • Last updated: October 13, 2018 (1 second ago)
  • Listing created on: January 26, 2005

Mission Statement

Catholic Monks Contemplative

Community Description

We are a Roman Catholic community of monks wholly ordered to contemplation, belonging to the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, more commonly known as Trappists. The monks are dedicated to the worship of God in a hidden life within the monastery following the Rule of St. Benedict. They lead a life of solitude and silence, prayer and penance, in a joyful spirit of faith. The monastic community supports itself by the common work of baking Monks’ Bread. In addition, the brothers help out on the farm and with cooking, laundry, cleaning, hospitality, formation of new members, and care of the sick and elderly of the community. The community is cloistered and has no outside ministry. Guests are received for quiet, private retreats at the retreat house. The monastic day begins with vigils at 3:30 a.m. and ends with compline at 7:30 p.m. Throughout the day there is a good balance between prayer, reading, and work, all lived in fraternal love and support. Silence is practiced seriously. The brothers speak only when necessary and then as briefly as possible. Some of the brothers are priests; most are not. At the end of their formation program candidates take the monastic vows and remain with the community for the rest of their lives.
  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1951
  • Start Living Together: 1951
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Website address:
  • Contact Name: Br. Anthony Weber
  • Phone: 585-243-0660
  • Community Address:
    Abbey of the Genesee
    3258 River Rd
    Piffard, New York, 14533
    United States
  • Location


  • Type(s): Commune (organized around sharing almost everything)
  • Programs & Activities: Retreat Facilities
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 2400 acres
  • Current Number of Residences: 3
  • Land owned by: The Community
  • Additional Comments:

    Three guest houses in addition to the Abbey


  • Adult Members: 23
  • Percent Women: 0%
  • Percent Men: 100%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    The reception room is open from 3:15 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Visitors are welcome anytime. They may visit the Abbey Church, our bookstore, and our Monks’ Bread outlet. The daily celebration of the Divine Office and Mass are open to the public. For a schedule of the daily liturgy visit our web site at Arrangements for group visits for a presentation on monastic life can be made by calling the Abbey at 585-243-0660.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    The process for admission to the community will be found on our vocations page at


  • Decision Making: Voting (majority or super-majority rule)
  • Identified Leader: Yes
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    The monastic council assists the abbot.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: All or close to all
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 42
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Our community work is baking Monks’ Bread and all able-bodied members work in the bakery.

Sustainability Practices

  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Food produced locally: Almost All, around 90%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Tractor & Farm Equipment, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Dietary Practice: Vegetarian Only (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegetarian, Vegetarian (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Yes – we all share a common diet.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: No, this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Catholic, Roman Catholic
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: Yes
  • Healthcare Options: Community Plan

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Fair Housing Laws

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