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Last Updated: Monday, 7 July, 2003, 08:02 GMT 09:02 UK
Monks break silence with CD
Benedictine monks singing at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast
The monks recorded their CD at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast
An order of monks, traditionally drawn to a life of prayer and silence, are releasing a recording of Gregorian chants.

The Benedictine monks aim to raise money to establish the order's first new monastery in more than 800 years at a site near Rostrevor, County Down.

Fr Mark Nolan said they recorded the CD, entitled Peace on You, at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast in response to public demand.

"Many of them requested a CD so they could prolong their communion with the monastery and pray in the comfort of their own homes or cars," he said.

"The other element that came in to play is that we set out to build our monastery but had no money to do that, so we've been doing all we can to generate funding."

Building work has begun on donated land, while a retreat centre has already been built.

The Order was founded by St Benedict in the sixth century
The monastery is expected to cost about 1.5m and is due to be completed in November.

The Benedictines first came to Ireland with John De Courcy and built a monastery near Downpatrick in 1138.

The order, founded in the sixth century, is known for its simplistic lifestyle.

The monks rise early, spending their day in prayer, work and bible study.

They earn money through making cards and candles.

BBC NI's Noreen Erskine
"The CD of Gregorian chants is being released to meet public demand"

New monastery goes online
27 Mar 03  |  Northern Ireland

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