The Mount Community • Esopus, NY

About Us:
Ours is a fairly new settlement, established primarily as the home for the Mount Academy, a New York State–registered, private high school started in 2012. Most of the families and adult singles who live here work to support the high school, which has approximately two hundred students who bus in from other Bruderhof communities and the local area. The Mount Academy offers a well-rounded academic program and a variety of extracurricular activities.

Setting:
Located about ninety miles north of New York City, the Mount is situated on the western bank of the Hudson River among rolling hills, farm fields, and woods. This part of the Hudson Valley features numerous historic properties owned or formerly owned by Catholic orders, and our property was used as a seminary by The Redemptorist Fathers of the Baltimore Province for more than one hundred years. Our settlement’s most striking feature is the main building, constructed in 1907 of gray granite with decorative bell towers and roof parapets. The view from the roof, which overlooks the river, is breathtaking. The property also has several smaller houses, as well as a former convent, now used as an elementary school building.

Connecting with Neighbors:
For the safety of our student population, tours and visits to the Mount are limited. But we try to reach out in other ways. Our annual Christmas carol sing in the chapel is open to friends and neighbors, many of whom experienced Catholic education and sacraments on our grounds. The Mount community members visit with local elderly people who may be house-bound or lonely. We work with local churches to make sure area residents have money for heat and Christmas presents. And some of our members volunteer with the Esopus fire department.

Point of Interest:
The main building is home to an elaborate Romanesque-style chapel with imported Italian stained-glass windows depicting the life of Saint Alphonsus of Liguori. We use the space for student assemblies, concerts, and community-wide events. While it is a Bruderhof tenet to live simply, this architectural space has a beauty one can't help but appreciate.

Meet some of the people who live at The Mount Community:
Several current residents describe life at the The Mount Community:

ben shirky

Ben: My wife, Rebecca, and I are in our fifties and we live at the Mount Community. Our location right on the Hudson River is a major migratory flyway and home to a local bald eagle population, so I have great opportunities to enjoy my birdwatching hobby. Our community staffs the Mount Academy, the secondary school attended by all high school students in our American locations and others from the area, and I find it exciting, rewarding, and sometimes daunting to mentor the teenagers, and see them learn and grow. I spend most of my time in the school office on scheduling, curriculum development, and guidance, but many days are varied by substitute teaching, driving the soccer or volleyball teams to their games, or hosting visitors to the school. Being willing to do whatever needs to be done is part of communal living. I appreciate being able to connect with many local schools and educators, to share ideas and mutual encouragement.

Jordan Maendel

I’m Jordan, and I live at the Mount Community with my wife, Janice, and our four children. We made an appearance on Bruderhof media in 2015, but a lot has happened since. Among other things, our pet guinea pig passed away, and we spent five years living in England, at the Beech Grove Bruderhof. That’s where our fourth child, Alex, joined the family. We moved back to the United States in the summer of 2021.

To some people, a transatlantic move might seem like a big deal, but if you think of our network of communities as one big family, it’s not. Janice and I have moved plenty of times. I myself have lived in New York, Connecticut, Canada, California, England, and Germany, and every place enriched me and added new perspectives to my view of the world, and of life. 

It all started when I was nineteen and moved to Long Island to spend a year with the Marianist Brothers at Kellenberg Memorial High School. That was a formative year for me, especially seeing how the brothers combined a life of dedication to God with their dedication to the student body. It was a learning experience that set me in the direction of becoming a teacher myself.

As assistant principal of the Bruderhof’s American high school, The Mount Academy, I get to work with teenagers every day, which I love. I have had many memorable experiences here at the Mount Community. Some of the best involved teachable moments with my own kids, like the fun spring activity along the banks of the Hudson you can see in this video, and prowling for owls – which you can watch here.

Come visit us. If there’s time to plan ahead, we may be able to share a similar experience. After all, that’s what life is all about!

Anita Clement

Anita: Hi, my name is Anita. I live at the Mount Community, an intentional Christian community located on the Hudson River in a small rural town called Esopus in New York. After spending nine years in Harlem, I am especially enjoying the outstanding beauty of this property. The Mount is also home to the Mount Academy, a private high school where I teach Graphic Design. The student body is made up of students from the Bruderhof as well as students from the locality. I love working with young people, and I am always looking for ways to get them involved in our neighborhood and beyond.

Because the Hudson River is tidal, it reminds me of one of my favorite destinations: the ocean. The river also reminds me of myself: sometimes calm but often restless. I sometimes get homesick for New York City but since it is just downriver from us, you can be sure I will be visiting often.

Contact Information

The Mount
1001 Broadway
Esopus, NY 12429
United States
Tel: 845-384-8090
Email:  mountcommunity@bruderhof.com

Established: 2012

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