Solesmes Congregation

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Solesmes Congregation
Formationc. AD 1837; 186 years ago (1837)
FounderPope Gregory XVI
TypeCatholic religious order
Superior General
Abbot Geoffrey Kemlin, O.S.B.[1]

The Solesmes Congregation is an association of monasteries within the Benedictine Confederation headed by the Abbey of Solesmes.


The congregation was founded in 1837 by Pope Gregory XVI as the French Benedictine Congregation, with the then newly reopened Solesmes Abbey, founded by Dom Prosper Guéranger, O.S.B., who wished to re-establish France's ancient and rich presence of monastic life, which had been wiped out by the French Revolution. The first foundation of the new congregation in 1853 was Ligugé Abbey, founded by St. Martin of Tours in 361. In course of time other daughterhouses were founded from Solesmes: in 1880 the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos in Spain, Glanfeuil in 1892, and Fontenelle in 1893. These four were old monasteries restored.[2] The congregation's first monastery of women was St. Cecilia's Abbey, Solesmes, founded in 1866 by Guéranger and Cécile Bruyère.

Some of the monasteries of the congregation, specially in France, use the pre-conciliar Latin liturgy, and most of them focus on Gregorian chant. One of its abbeys, Santo Domingo de Silos Abbey, became internationally famous when an album its monks recorded in 1973, Chant, became a huge hit when re-released in 1994, peaking at #3 on the U.S. album charts.

List of houses[edit]

Santo Domingo de Silos Monasterio

(with dates of establishment within the congregation)


Keur Moussa Abbey, near Thiès, Senegal.



  1. ^ Henning, Christophe (20 May 2022). "Benedictines of Solesmes elect 43-year-old prior as their new abbot". La Croix International. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
  2. ^ Alston, George Cyprian. "Abbey of St. Solesmes." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 23 March 2015