Charterhouse of the Transfiguration
At the Carthusian monastery on Mount Equinox in Southern Vermont, Carthusian monks adore God and intercede for the world in silence.
Because of their vocation to solitude, the monastery is not open to visitors.
SERVING THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD
Carthusians consecrate their lives entirely to prayer and to seeking God in the secret of their hearts. Embracing solitude and austerity for the love and glory of God in accordance with His will, they intercede for the Church and intensely desire the well-being and salvation of the world they have renounced.
All who choose this solitary life participate in Christ’s sacrifice and serve the Church as faithful witnesses. Moreover, the Carthusian Order embraces penance so as to share in the saving work of Christ, Who redeemed humanity from the bondage of sin through constant prayer to the Father, and by offering Himself to Him in sacrifice.
The Catholic Church regards the consecrated life as a special sign of the mystery of redemption at work within the Church. It is like a sacrament — an instrument of God’s Will.
“In embracing a hidden life we do not abandon the great family of our fellow men. Apart from all, we are united, so that it is in the name of all that we stand before the living God.”
(Carthusian Statutes 34:2)
SAINT BRUNO, PILGRIM OF THE ABSOLUTE
Today, twenty-one Carthusian monasteries around the world continue Bruno’s sacred legacy, which has remained an unbroken tradition for over 900 years. The Carthusian monastery has always perceived itself as a “desert” where God draws His people to speak to their hearts. The Carthusian enters an authentic silence and solitude stripped of comforts and consolations. There, God leads him on a journey of surrender that eclipses the illusory happiness of worldly success and possessions.
(Saint Bruno’s letter to Raoul Le Verd)
The first settlement of Carthusian monks in the United States dates to 1950, and the Charterhouse of the Transfiguration, designed by Victor Christ-Janer, was completed in 1970 and consecrated two years later as the first Carthusian monastery in the Western hemisphere.
While all Carthusians leave the world to consecrate their lives to Jesus Christ in solitude and contemplation, the physical structure of the Charterhouse reflects the diversity of the shared Carthusian vocation. The hermitages of the fathers are in one wing and the cells and work areas of the brothers in another.
A common cloister unites these two living arrangements and provides access to a third, shared area containing the Church, chapels, refectory, Chapter House and other areas essential for community life.
“It was essential, above all else, to avoid the architectural expression of grandeur and pride that … has been the mark of religious architecture throughout the ages.”
(Robert H. Mutrux, Great New England Churches)