What does ‘integral ecology’ mean to us?

To have a coherent life, to be converted by reading and putting into practice Laudato Si’, to follow ‘ora et labora‘ in the monks’ vegetable garden and orchard. Integral ecology takes on its full meaning at Hautecombe Abbey.

Living coherently

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.”

With our strength – by working the land, doing exercice, taking care of the origin and quality of what we eat

With our intelligence – by learning through reading, discussion, documentaries

With our heart – by sharing with others from different backgrounds what we hold dear, our places of conversion, our joys and our worries

With our soul – by taking time to reorient ourselves towards the Creator, to contemplate nature, to learn to be silent

Laudato Si’

Pope Francis published his encyclicalLaudato Si’in 2015, about safeguarding the common home”.

It exhorts us, “Rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise.”

At its last General Chapter, the Chemin Neuf Community voted a motion concerning ecological conversion.

In our life at Hautecombe Abbey, we want to become aware of all these climatic and ecological questions, to live in coherence with life, and to rediscover a right relationship with the Earth in order to live an integral ecology.

Yves-Marie shares about his year at HDS, and the impact of Laudato Si’ on his life

The monks’ vegetable garden and orchard

The work in the vegetable garden and orchard has regained a central place in the ora et labora balance lived by the monks for several centuries. We are carrying on what the monks maintained for hundreds of years before us! We are carrying on what the monks maintained for hundreds of years before us!

In 2018, three young people from HDS have spearheaded this restoration project – and the diversity only continues to grow!