Cisterciënzer Groep Sion

The Cisterciënzer Groep Sion (Diepenveen, The Netherlands) was founded shortly after the year 2000 by father abbot of the monastery Abdij Sion, together with some people who longed for a religious way of living in the world. Nowadays the group has about thirty members.

Father abbot allowed us to call our new members ‘novices’ – we realize they are not real novices, but it is nice to be able to use this kind of vocabulary, because it illustrates so well what one is up to, when one starts this way of living. Novices follow a thorough formation program, lead by a senior member of the group. This phase takes about two years. This course leads into the Cistercian charism, and introduces one to church fathers, the Rule of Saint Benedict, ancient and contemporary Cistercian writers and more. Thereafter one can become a member of the convent group. In consultation with father abbot, we created a small rite to make this a memorable moment.

The members of our convent group read books and share their experiences during the meetings. We try not to argue nor to discuss the texts, but practice a sincere way of listening to each other and our own heart.

The novitiate and the convent group each have their own meeting in the morning. After lunch they meet together and in the afternoon they dive into the one author that is subject of the whole year. For example: Thomas Merton, Cassianus. Sometimes we invite a Cistercian or Benedictine monk or nun to teach us about a certain subject or person, related to the tradition.

Our meetings are held on every second Saturday of the month, from 09.30 till 16.30. On these days we follow the tides according to the Book of Hours; we pray the terce, sext, none (and sometimes vespers, depending on what time we finish).

Lay community website:

The monks left the abbey and started a new life on a small island in the Northern part of The Netherlands: Schiermonnikoog. There has been made a documentary about the journey they made, which is available in Dutch, English and Spanish.

Link to the English version:

Link to the Spanish version:


Klooster Schiermonnikoog
Knuppeldam 2
9166 NZ Schiermonnikoog

Br. Alberic Bruschke, OCSO


Lay Leader
Maria C.C.J. van Mierlo
p/a Klooster Nieuw Sion
Vulikerweg 6
7431 PJ Diepenveen