In line with public health advice, Kylemore Abbey is currently closed.

By Strange Paths


By Strange Paths is the story of young woman’s search for God and for a suitable community in which to live out her religious calling.

Elizabeth Lee was born in England and bought up in the Protestant Faith. She first came in contact with Roman Catholic Nuns while teaching in Germany and instantly recognized that this was the life for her. However, there were many obstacles to be overcome before her wish would be granted, not the least of which was her family’s objections: she was kidnapped by her brother in an attempt to twart her plans. Elizabeth was eventually received into the church in 1899 and a year later entered the Ursuline Convent at Lierre (Lier), Belgium.

At the outbreak of World War 1, the Community was forced to flea Belgium and seek refuge in England. While there the Ursulie Nun came in contact with the Benedictine tradition and found herself attracted to a more monastic way of life. In 1919 Elizabeth was professed a Benedictine Nun at Macmine Castle, Co Wexford, Ireland, and was given the name Dame Magdalen.

The Benedictine Community moved to Kylemore Abbey, Co Galway, in 1920, where Dame Magdalen lived out the remainder of her life in complete contentment until her death in 1952.

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