Books and Pamphlets by the nuns or about the Abbey, 

 available from the Abbey Shop


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St. Cecilia's Abbey, RYDE, Isle of Wight, PO33 1LH


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By Sister Mary David Totah OSB

(CTS) Paperback, 72 pp. £2.50

This book offers a unique little catechesis on the theology of the consecrated life. Drawing on the documents of Vatican II as well as more recent documents of the Church�s magisterium and ancient teaching especially that of St Thomas Aquinas, this book gives a complete, concise, and up-to-date synthesis on the consecrated life and the vows, its place in the Church, and its relationship to other states of life.  This synthesis fills an important gap in literature on the religious life. The book also includes an inspiring collection of texts from the saints.

 �Christ gave this form of life to the Church, where, thanks to the Spirit, it lives on� Religious life is a gift: a gift of God, a gift that has its source in God; a gift of the one who is consecrated, who joins himself to Christ by the gift of his whole life; a gift from the Church and to the Church.�




Life at St. Cecilia's Abbey, Ryde

by Sr Gertrude Quayle, OSB

32 pp Pamphlet with nearly 50 full colour illustrations.  £4.00


A Day in the Cloister takes the reader from rising bell at 4.45 to Compline, describing with much humour the rhythm of worship, work, reading, prayer and recreation that makes up a typical monastic day. One reader warns 'Once you pick it up, you can't put it down!'

Walled About With God

The History and Spirituality of Enclosure for Cloistered Nuns  by Dom Jean Prou, OSB and the Benedictine Nuns of the Congregation of Solesemes.  Gracewing: 2005.  Paperback, 294 pp £13.00


Drawing on the riches of Christian tradition, this unique book, written by cloistered nuns themselves,  examines  enclosure of nuns  from a biblical, historical, spiritual and theological perspective, showing how it aids the prayer-life and mission of cloistered nuns.  The book tackles many of the questions often asked of nuns today: what are the origins of the cloistered life? 

Why is the enclosure of nuns stricter than that of monks? 

What is the nature of the contemplative apostolate  in the Church and the world?  


This book has proved popular with those interested in monastic spirituality and those seeking to deepen their understanding of the contemplative life and prayer.




Deepening Prayer

       Life Defined by Prayer

by Sr Mary David Totah, OSB (CTS) Paperback, 64 pp.  £1.95


     This little book explores the environment of prayer in the Bible and Liturgy, as well as some of the main methods of Christian prayer such as Arrow prayers, the Jesus Prayer, the Rosary and the Our Father.  It also devotes much space to trials in prayer- absence, lack of feelings, dryness, distractions-and offers a reflection on the relationship between action and contemplation. 


An illustrated history of the Benedictine nuns of Ryde.

St Michael's Abbey Press, 224 pp. sewn softcover  £15


With 224 pages and illustrated throughout with high quality archive and contemporary images, In the Heart of Christ traces the story of the Benedictine nuns of St Cecilia's Abbey from its early 17th century roots through the vicissitudes of revolution and war to the present day.  Designed and printed to the highest  production standard, it provides a fascinating window into the cloister, with insights into the life, work, joy, and humour of an enclosed monastic community,


A Deep and Subtle Joy

Life at Quarr Abbey  by Luke Bell, OSB (HiddenSpring books) Paperback, 153 pp.  £7.99


A Deep and Subtle Joy  is an introduction to Benedictine - and indeed Christian - spirituality.  It takes the reader on a 24 hour personal tour of Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight, England, inviting us to share in the lives of the monks and entering into their rhythm of worship, work, prayer and recreation.  Taking illustrations  from both nature and Scripture, each chapter brings the reader to a different location, and the subtitle speaks of the spiritual lesson to be learnt there, for example: 'The Trees: Spiritual Growth and How It Happens'; 'The Pigs: Sin, Repentance, and the Advantages of Not Being a Swine'; 'The Tea Room: Community Life and its  Spiritual Aspect.'  This book will be of value  not only to those curious about life in a monastery but to anyone journeying on the path to God.