Important people
don piron abbot of kergonanDom Philippe PIRON
Dom Philippe Piron, fifth abbot of Kergonan was born at Nantes in 1953. After a period of business studies, he worked for six years as inspector in an insurance company.He entered Kergonan in 1984, made simple profession on 8 September 1986 and solemn profession on 15 August 1989. On 21 August 1993 he was ordained priest by Mgr Émile Marcus, bishop of Nantes. His worked for a time in the bursar's office and in the infirmary, while making an important contribution to the community's liturgical life.
In 1996, when Dom Le Nézet went to Martinique, he was appointed prior. He continued to exercise that function until he was elected abbot on 24 November 2001, receiving the abbatial blessing at the hands of Mgr Robert Le Gall on 2 February 2002. His abbatial motto is 'Dilatato corde' ('with a heart made broad'), an expression drawn from the Prologue to the Rule of Saint Benedict. From 2004-2007 he was president of the Monastic Conference of France. He is a member of the Groupe de Chevetogne. Since 2007 he has been on the Council of the Abbot of Solesmes.

don robert le gallMonseigneur Robert LE GALL
Mgr Robert LE GALL was born in Saint-Hilaire du Harcouët on 26th February 1946. He started Lettres Superieures after his Baccalauréat.
He entered the Abbey of Sainte-Anne de Kergonan, where he did his noviciate; he took his first monastic vows on 8th December 1965. He then started studying philosophy at the abbey, before continuing his theological studies at the Abbey of Solesmes, and then at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He graduated with a Masters in dogmatic theology. Mgr Robert LE GALL was ordained a priest on 24th August 1974.
1977-1983 Prior and guest master at the Abbey of Kergonan ;
1983 Elected fourth abbot of Kergonan ;
1984-1990 Member of the committee of the Major Superiors of Western France apostolic area ;
1986-1992 Member of the committee of the Monastic Conference of France ;
1992 Founder of the ecumenical group of Chevetogne ;
1992-2001 President of the Monasteries Foundation and first advisor to the abbot of Solesmes ;
In 2001, he was nominated Bishop of Mende, France.
In 2006, he was nominated Archbishop of Toulouse.

Mgr Robert LE GALL published numerous articles and books on liturgy and biblical spirituality. He also wrote a book of dialogues with a Tibetan Lama.
He is President of the Episcopal Commission for the liturgy and the sacramental pastoral care. In Rome, he is a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament.

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don marcel blazyDom Marcel BLAZY (1902-1994)
Marcel Blazy was born in Mauzac, Dordogne on 27th May 1922. He spent his childhood in Périgueux, and prepared for the Grandes Ecoles in Bordeaux. He entered Polytechnique in 1921. He then chose to join the artillery. He was a lieutenant in Morocco for three years.
He entered the Abbey of Solesmes in 1930. There he received a classical formation and he was ordained a priest in 1937. He was able to enjoy the last few years of the great Dom Delatte (third abbot of Solesmes) and let himself influence by his abbot's personality.
Between 1938 and 1940, he participated in the foundation of the monastery of Las Condes in Santiago, Chile. Called back to France by the war, he rejoined Solesmes at the armistice of June 1940, where he became guest master, then philosophy teacher.
In 1948, he became bursar of the foundation of Fontgombault, trusted assistant of Dom Edouard Roux, but he remained a monk of Solesmes.

When dom Demazure resigned, dom Jean Prou, abbot of Solesmes, nominated him Prior-Administrator of Kergonan on 12th June 1962. He was elected abbot one year later and received his blessing at Sainte-Anne d'Auray on 22nd August 1963. He led the community for twenty years. He set up the post council liturgical adaptation : the adoption of the Paul VI missal and the concelebration, while keeping the latin liturgy and the Gregorian chant. He led the construction of the abbey church which was consecrated on 4th October 1975.

He resigned in May 1983. He was fortunate to see his Prior, dom Robert Le Gall, succeed him. He lived for another twelve peaceful years at the monastery.
He went to the Lord on 18th December 1994, after a few months of ill health.
If you would like to know more, you can order this book at the monastery's bookshop :
Dom Henri Demazure et Kergonan, by dom Xavier Perrin (April 2002), 160 p., 14 euros.

don henri demazure - KergonanDom Henri DEMAZURE (1882-1974)
The second abbot of Kergonan was born in the Vosges in 1882 in a family of master blacksmiths linked to the local aristocracy. After studying at the Sciences Po school, he seems to have managed his personal wealth and might have contributed to the creation of a business in Romania. He then fought in the Great War.

He entered the monastery of Kergonan just after coming back from exile, in the spring of 1921.

At the end of his monastic studies, he was nominated assistant bursar.

He was elected abbot upon the death of dom Marsille, in 1833. He was blessed as abbot on 15th January 1934. He led the community through the hazards of the Second World War and the successive exiles to the Chartreuse d'Auray and to the Nétumières.

He resigned in 1962. He then spent a few years at the Abbey of Clervaux in Luxemburg. He came back to Kergonan where he was called back to God in 1974.

If you would like to know more, you can order this book at the monastery's bookshop :
Dom Henri Demazure et Kergonan, by dom Xavier Perrin (April 2002), 160 p., 14 euros.

Prosper Guéranger - Abbaye de KergonanDom Prosper GUÉRANGER (1805-1875)
Dom Prosper Pascal Guéranger was born in Sablé-sur-Sarthe, France on 4th april 1805. He studied at Angers College then entered the seminary at Le Mans. There he befriended Reverend Bouvier, future bishop of Le Mans, started his discovery of the Fathers of the Church and interested himself in "mennaisianism" (of the Lamennais school - the term 'mennaisianism' is a convenient portmanteau word for the whole body of ideas of which Lamennais was the author and to which his disciples were attached).

As a young priest, he was chosen by his bishop to be his personal secretary and becomes a Canon. These duties left him time to continue his extensive reading on Church history, liturgy and Canon Law. Hostile to the Jansenism and the Galician style of the old regime, he was favourable to a more direct influence of Rome on the life of the Church in France. Back in Le Mans after escaping the revolution of July 1830, he became chaplain of the Visitation. He then discovered the Roman liturgy which he started celebrating. A particular divine grace initiated him to the mystery of the Immaculate Conception. He prepared the project of restoring the Benedictine order in France of which he expected a renewal of the liturgical cult and of ecclesiastical studies in the ultra mundane mindset of the time.

The old Maurist priory of Solesmes was bought back in 1833 and dom Gueranger settled there with a few confreres. Very soon vocations came about. In 1837, he was nominated by Rome to be superior of the new Benedictine congregation of France, heir to the ancient congregations of Cluny, Saint-Maur and Saints Vanne and Hydulphe. Solesmes was established to the rank of abbey. Dom Guéranger was its first abbot. He made it a centre of spiritual and liturgical life. Under his impulsion, work on the rediscovery of Gregorian chant was started. Several monastic houses were founded in France (Ligugé, Marseille, Acey, Paris). A nuns monastery was established at Solesmes : Sainte-Cecile's abbey, which he entrusted to his spiritual daughter, Mrs Cecile Bruyère. Contacts with foreign countries (England, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland) spread Solesmes' influence in the Benedictine world.

Dom Guéranger studied the sources of liturgy and, under his keen and sometimes combative influence, all French dioceses gave up the Galician liturgies of the modern era to go back to the single Roman missal. He gave a taste of the spiritual savour of the liturgy in his main book: the Liturgical Year, a true initiation to Christian and mystical life from the liturgy.

A very cultured and profound theologian, dom Guéranger wrote some important books: an essay on the Immaculate Conception prepared the proclamation of this dogma by Pie IX in 1854 ; a treaty on pontifical monarchy was used for debates in the Vatican council.

Dom Guéranger died at Solesmes on 30th January 1875. The Solesmes congregation has now 24 monks' houses and 8 nuns' houses in Europe, America and Africa.

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Important events

Sainte Anne - Bretagne

1833    Dom Prosper Guéranger (1805-1875) re-instates the Benedictine life in Solesmes, France

1897    10 monks who came from Solesmes, under the guidance of dom Paulin Joumier (1854-1917), are welcomed at Kergonan

1898    Dom Athanase Logerot (1840-1908) is elected Prior of the Sainte-Anne de Kergonan priory

1901    The new French laws on associations exclude religious communities. The monks of Kergonan seek refuge in Belgium. The buildings, confiscated by the State, are put up for sale. Some faithful friends buy them back and turn them into a girl’s school.

1908    Upon the death of dom Logerot, dom Joseph Marsille (1852-1933) is elected to be his successor.

1914    The community of Sainte-Anne de Kergonan becomes an autonomous Abbey. Dom Joseph Marsille is elected first Abbot of Kergonan.

1920    The monks come back from their exile and take residence in the buildings of Kergonan once more.

1933    Death of dom Marsille. Dom Henri Demazure (1882-1974) is elected second abbot of Kergonan.

1942    The monastery, close to the « Atlantic Wall » of the second world war, is commandeered by the German army. The monks seek refuge in the Chartreuse d'Auray.

1943    The community settles at the castle of Nétumières, near Vitré.

1946    The monks come back from exile. They find a building in need of repairs after the damage caused by the war.

1948    Dom Henri Le Saux (1910-1973) leaves for India where he will live as a hermit, encountering the traditions and religious experiences of Hinduism.

1962    Dom Henri Demazure resigns from his position of abbot. He is replaced by dom Marcel Blazy (1902-1994), a monk of Solesmes who is nominated as the Prior-Administrator.

1963    Dom Marcel Blazy is elected and blessed as third abbot of Kergonan.

1968    The construction of the Abbey church begins.

1974    Death of Monsieur Henri le Cour Grandmaison (born in 1883), ex- member of parliament, well known figure of the Catholic secularity, who spent the last nine years of his life at the monastery.

1975    Consecration of the abbey church by Mgr Pierre-Auguste Boussard (1917-1997), bishop of Vannes.

1983    Dom Marcel Blazy resigns from his position of abbot. He is replaced by dom Robert Le Gall (born in 1946).

1990    The construction of the new dining room and visitors’ area begins.

2001    Dom Robert Le Gall is nominated bishop of Mende. Dom Philippe Piron (born in 1953) is elected to replace him.

2002    Blessing of dom Philippe Piron as abbot of Kergonan.

I donate to benedictine monastery2011     Renovation of Church’s Cross

Automne 2011    
Works of renovation for St Martin Guesthouse.
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