The Olivetans take their origin from the example of Blessed Bernard Tolomei and his companions, who established an ascetic environment near Siena , Italy , in the fourteenth century. This monastic family, which from the time of its founder followed the Rule of St Benedict, was incorporated into the Benedictine Confederation in 1960. The site of Blessed Bernard's cell at 'Monte Oliveto' remains the Congregation's principal monastery, though in modern times an international character has been added to the original Italian identity through houses in various nations, including the American continent and Korea .
The early twentieth century witnessed a monastic movement seeking Christian unity in the monastic elements shared by East and West. A group of monks, nuns and lay oblates, headed by Dom Constantine Bosschaerts (a monk of Afflighem, Belgium) was accepted into the Olivetan Congregation. It had begun in Schotenhof, near Antwerp (now the nuns' motherhouse) and made foundations in England and elsewhere. This 'Vita et Pax' Foundation worked for unity, for renewed liturgy, art and symbolism, and for lay participation. In England are the monasteries of Christ the King in London and of Christ our Saviour (monks) and Our Lady of peace (nuns) in Turvey, Bedfordshire. The London house administers a parish centred on the monastery's common life; Turvey has no parish, but besides its own work and worship, offers wide hospitality.
A postulancy of at least six months is followed by a two year novitiate (the first year being the canonical novitiate). Vows are then taken for a minimum of three years, culminating in final profession.
The Mother Prioress