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“Trappist Bread is the thing to buy at the Abbey of the Genesee”

Abbey of the Genesee
Raritan, New Jersey
Level Contributor
48 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Trappist Bread is the thing to buy at the Abbey of the Genesee”
Reviewed August 16, 2013

I had not visited the Abbey of the Genesee for about 50 years and was pleased to see how well the monks are doing. The last time I was there they were celebrating Mass in a quonset hut! Now they have a beautiful Abbey Church (a hexagonal church with the altar in the center - a very unusual design for a Cistercian Abbey). The grounds at the entrance road through rolling farm land are just beautiful. Of course, only the store and church are open to the public due to the enclosed rule of the Trappists. The store offers the Abbey's famous bread, as well as other baked goods and jams and jellies from St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, MA, as well as books and artwork. (As a bird watcher, I was surprised at how many birds I found along River Road and on the abbey grounds itself.)

Visited August 2013
Thank jjcbird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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44 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
86 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Peaceful visit”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

My family stayed in a very large guest apartment while vacationing in western NY state. The Abbey is home to a community of Trappist monks who are famous for their "Monk's Bread" (and rightfully so). We "played and prayed" while we stayed. We did some fun area activities (Niagara Falls and Darien Lake) but we set aside plenty of time just to enjoy the Abbey and its grounds. Our rooms were located in a farmhouse about a half-mile walk away from the Abbey proper. The guest rooms were great. A huge dining room, 5 BRs, bath, fully stocked kitchen and a large golf-course manicured lawn. Each day a monk dropped off loaves of their bread and milk. Our family often stays at monastic guest facilities. These compared very well. Given the size of the space and the cost (suggested donation of $50 per person per night), it was a good value compared to a conventional hotel. I attended several of the Liturgy of the Hours services in the Abbey church. It is a beautiful building, very rustic looking. The famous Catholic spiritual writer Fr Henri Nouwen helped with its construction back in the 70s during a long stay with the monks. Today, however, the church appears to be in need of some updating. Between services, the lights are out and the interior is pitch black, so it is not a place one might go and pray if one is trying to read a prayer book or Bible. Even during the services, lighting is dim, making reading difficult. The Mass schedule also is different most days making it difficult for first time visitors to find the "rhythm" of the place. Because Trappist spirituality is more contemplative and interior-focused, Trappist monks are more secluded and less visible to guests. A regular conference, however, is offered by one of the monks, which was profound on so many levels. The gift shop is small with many excellent books on Catholic and Benedictine/Cistercian monastic spirituality. And of course there's the bread. Absolutely wonderful and guests will want to order it when they go home, it's that good. Our quiet time was spent reading, praying, and just quietly sitting out on the lawn and watching the deer and all manner of birds native to NY flying by.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank M P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Groveland, New York
Level Contributor
31 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013

It's always fun to go there in the summer when the sunflowers are in full bloom. You can also buy your favorite Monk's Bread in the shop (for less than you pay in the store). It's a wonderfully peaceful place to visit.

2 Thank Jen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Peaceful & can buy great bread”
Reviewed March 8, 2013

Peaceful and you can buy great bread. Nice ride to get there. Nice thing to do on a Saturday afternoon.

Thank Pat48503
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
41 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A welcome place of solitude and prayer”
Reviewed February 27, 2013

A quiet and prayerful place to stop and recharge the battery. the Monks are most welcoming and their bread store is a stop not to be missed.

Visited February 2013
Thank Ian R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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