Monasticism: End Of An Adventure

High on a plateau in the Middle Atlas Mountains stands a rambling complex of rough-hewn rock buildings. These days the buildings are quiet; overhead, crows caw and buzzards scream; grass creeps through chinks in the pavement. Only three soldiers, stationed there to prevent looting, are now camped where a community of Benedictine monks so recently thrived. The monastery of Toumliline, a hopeful experiment of Christian witness in Moslem Morocco, is closed, probably forever.

Toumliline was founded above the Berber town of Azrou in 1952 by a group of French monks who chose the site—about 100 miles southeast of the Moroccan...

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