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What is the purpose of the AIC?

It is important to understand that the AIC is not a prayer group or a spiritual support group that meets at New Melleray or Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey in order to experience the peace and tranquility of a monastery. Nor are we trying to make ourselves into secular copies of monks and nuns. The purpose of the AIC is to assist one another in learning about monastic values and practices in order to incorporate them into our everyday lives. Our call to be associates involves the willingness to accept these challenges and responsibilities: As Lay Cistercians we are called to live the Gospel message in the world even though to do so often involves choices and behaviors that are "countercultural".

As members of the Church we are called to be faithful to our calling by being active and contributing members of our local parishes and congregations.