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Rome Reports

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Convents and monasteries survive on their online stores

In the US, the state of Virginia is home to the Holy Cross Abbey. The Cistercian monks who live there have their own online store that sells pastries of fruit, honey and chocolate. The Abbey of Le Barroux in southern France, also sells much more delicate handicrafts. These Benedictine nuns make nougats, marzipan, wine and oil with natural products. Many of these communities have joined together to give more choices to the customer. For example, the webpage Monastery Greetings sells products from monasteries, abbeys and monasteries of Spain, Norway, the United States, France, Germany or Austria. Among its products are coffee, jams, candy, chocolate and even artisan brewed beer. This Spanish website DeClausura.com sells goods made by nuns from 31 different monasteries in Spain. Now from these donuts, cheeses, spirits, wines and 15 types of jam are only a click away. Also these nuns from the Religious Institute in Spain "Iesu Communio� launched their online store last month that sells truffles, cakes, and brownies. These "digital monasteries� don't sell only food. Many of them also have music records, soaps, clothes, perfumes, books and documentaries for sale. And they also offer free prayers for their clients and visitors that decide not to buy anything. It's a way of living a cloistered life in the age of 'dot coms'. PH/AE RR VM MGZ