Of The Monks
November 12, 2009 by USA Post
Piffard, N.Y. - Since 1953 the Trappist Monks at the Abbey of the Genesee have been making Monks’ Bread. In recent years, the monks have diversified their product line to meet changing tastes and now they sell Monks’ Bread to the entire world through their website www.MonksBread.com.
Thirty monks currently live at the Abbey of the Genesee and all able-bodied brothers work a shift in the bakery.
The revenue generated by Monks’ Bread is used to sustain the Abbey of the Genesee and the 3,000 acre parcel of land it occupies.
“Basically I tell people you really have to believe the Lord wants you to be here,” says Brother Paul.
“You have to have the desire to be here. You find value being here, but ultimately, you’re called to be here.”
As Trappist Monks in the Benedictine tradition, the monks cannot accept charity. It means their bakery has to be profitable to maintain operations at the Abbey. Monks’ Bread revenue also sustains monasteries in Africa and Brazil and the monks donate bread and money generously to various soup kitchens and charities in western New York.
“We are not just another loaf on the shelf. With Monk’s Bread, comes the entire package,” said Fr. Gerard D’Souza.
Most days the bakery cranks out 15,000 loaves of bread which are shipped to a distributor in Olean.
The monks are devoted men of God, but they can flash a very competitive streak. Especially when someone mentions Pepperidge Farms.
“I would say they put out a good product, but we’re putting out a better product,” says Brother David.
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