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Divine Gouda: When Nuns, Prayer, and Cheese Meet

It's a business model you won't see anywhere else: thirteen women who make artisanal Gouda cheese that sells out every year. Their secret ingredient? Prayer. Read Transcript


Reporter: THIS IS THE

HEART OF THIS CLOYSTER NUN

COMMUNITY, GATHERING FOR

WORSHIP AND PRAYER SEVEN

TIMES A DAY, STARTING AT

3:15 IN THE MORNING.

THIS IS THE CHEESE BARN,

WHERE THE 13 SISTERS AT OUR

LADY OF THE ANGELS MAKE

20,000 POUNDS OF GUDA EVERY

YEAR.

MOST OF THEIR QUARTER

MILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS IS

MAI MAIL ORDER, BUT SOME

SHOPS DRIVE OUT MONTHLY FOR

THE CHEESE THEIR COSTUMERS

CRAVE.

IT IS DELICIOUS AND

REALLY VERSATILE.

YOU CAN USE IT FOR COOKING

OR MASH IT WITH OLIVES AND

BREAD.

Reporter: WHEN THEY

STARTED, THE NUNS KNEW

NOTHING ABOUT HOW TO MAKE

CHEESE.

TODAY, THEY LITERALLY CANNOT

KEEP UP WITH FOOD

CONNOISSEURS AROUND THE

COUNTRY.

PEOPLE GET IT AS A GIFT,

AND THEY CALL AND SAY, CAN I

ORDER SOME OF THIS CHEESE?

Reporter: SISTER

BARBARA IS ONE OF THE

ORIGINAL SIX, WHO WAS SENT

FROM MASSACHUSETTS TO START

ANEW ON THIS GORGEOUS PIECE

OF LAND NEAR

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA.

THE GOAL, FOLLOW THE RULES

OF ST. BENEDICT, WITH A LIFE

OF PRAYER AND ENGAGE IN

MANUAL LABOR TO SUPPORT

THEMSELVES.

HAPPILY FOR THE SISTERS, THE

PROPERTY THEY BOUGHT ALREADY

HAD A CHEESE-MAKING

FACILITY.

WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE SO

SIMPLE.

THEY HAD EQUIPMENT HERE AND

WE GET SOME MILK AND MAKE

SOME CHEESE.

Reporter: BUT THE

SISTERS PERSEVERED, AND THEY

GOT IT RIGHT, REALLY RIGHT.

THEY ALLOT 32 DAYS A YEAR TO

MAKE THE GUDA, AND EVERYONE

PITCHES IN.

SISTER MARIA IS THE

DESIGNATED CHEESE COOK.

THE 35-YEAR-OLD FROM SPAIN

MUST MANIPULATE SOME 6,000

POUNDS OF PASTURIZED MILK,

INTO SEVERAL HUNDRED WHEELS

OF CHEESE.

IT LOOKS EASY, BUT LIKE ANY

GOOD RECIPE, IT IS ALL ABOUT

PRECISION.

GETTING THE CORRECT

TEMPERATURE, CUTTING THE

CURDS AT JUST THE RIGHT

MOMENT, BEADING THEM, AND

FINALLY PRESSING THE

CHEESE.

OVER THE YEARS, THE SISTERS

HAVE NOT ONLY PERFECTED

THEIR TECHNIQUE, THEY HAVE

NEVER BUNGLED A BATCH.

SISTER MARIA IS SIDELINED

FROM THE CHEESE-MAKING WITH

AN INJURY, BUT SAYS HER

FELLOW SISTERS' DETAIL IS

KEY.

A BIG PART OF IT HAS BEEN

THEIR OPENNESS TO LEARNING,

AND THEIR ABSOLUTE

DEDICATION TO DOING IT

BETTER.

Reporter: THE SISTERS

SAY PRAYER IS ALSO A BIG

PART OF THEIR WORK.

FROM MAKING THE CHEESE TO

SHIPPING IT OUT.

WHILE I'M DOING IT, I'M

REALLY PRAYING FOR THE

PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO EAT

THAT CHEESE.

I KNOW EVERY FAMILY, EVERY

PERSON HAVE PROBLEMS.

FOR EVERY FIVE CHEESE

ORDERS THAT COME IN THE

MAIL, AT LEAST ONE OUT OF

EVERY FOUR, ONE WILL HAVE A

REQUEST FOR PRAYERS.

Reporter: PRAYER IS

ALSO THE REASON THE NUNS SAY

THEY WON'T GROW THEIR

BUSINESS.

PEOPLE WILL COME IN AND

SAY, YOU SOLD OUT LAST YEAR,

SO YOU'RE GOING TO MAKE MORE

NEXT YEAR, AREN'T YOU?

THE PRIORITY IS NOT THE

CHEESE.

Reporter: WHAT IS

HAPPENING HERE, IS SEEKING

AFTER THE LORD THAT IS

VISIBLY DISCERNABLE.

IT IS FUN TO SEE THE

NUNS, AND THEY'RE SO KIND

AND MILL LOW.

MELLOW.

IT SLOWS YOU DOWN A LITTLE

BIT.

PEOPLE WHO COME TO THE

DOOR ALWAYS WANT TO KNOW A

LITTLE ABOUT OUR WAY OF

LIFE, AND SO WE TELL THEM.

AND THEN WE ASK THEM IF THEY

WOULD LIKE TO STOP IN THE

CHAP PEL FOR CHAPEL.

MY FAVORITE WAY TO HAVE IT

IS ON A PIECE OF BREAD FOR

BREAKFAST.

IF YOU TOAST THE BREAD, AND

PUT A COUPLE OF THIN SLICES

OF CHEESE AND PUT IT IN THE

MICROWAVE FOR A COUPLE OF

MINUTES.

Reporter: WHAT IS NEXT

FOR THE SISTERS?

IT IS STRICTLY GUDA.

AS FOR THEIR NUMBERS, IT IS

CLEAR A NEW GENERATION IS

NEEDED, SOME TIME SOON.

BUT THESE WOMEN BELIEVE IF

THEY REMAIN TRUE TO THEIR

CALLING, GOD WILL REPLENISH

THEIR RANKS IN HIS TIME.

WE ARE HERE TOGETHER

BECAUSE GOD CALLED US HERE,

ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.

WE ALL FOLLOWED WHAT WE

PERCEIVED TO BE GOD'S CALL

TO US INDIVIDUALLY.

WE NEVER KNEW EACH OTHER

BEFORE, YOU KNOW, SO IT'S

NOT A COINCIDENCE, BUT PART

OF A LARGER PLAN THAT

REMAINS A MYSTERY.

Reporter: IT IS A

BEAUTIFUL HOLY MYSTERY THAT

IS UNFOLDING HERE AS THE

SISTERS SEEK OUT GOD, AND

FIND WAYS TO MINISTER

THROUGH SIMPLE, TWO-POUND

CHEESE.

REPORTING IN CROZE,

VIRGINIA, HEATHER CELLS, CBN

NEWS.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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