For the monks of Assumption Abbey, fruitcake is just a side business: Their primary product is prayer.

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 Assumption Abbey, located approximately 20 miles south of Ava, is home to around 10 Trappist and Cistercian monks.

 AVA – Canopies of fall foliage and winding dirt paths eventually reveal Assumption Abbey, a spiritual oasis in a wonderfully wooded world of its own. The destination is fittingly peaceful, one best reached with old-fashioned directions.

The building is long and simple, gently perched atop a forest clearing. But if monks endorsed pride, perhaps they would feel that for their home. After all, they built it themselves when they were in the concrete-block business years ago.

These days, the monastery is instead known for its fruitcake production. But those cakes can be shipped to faithful followers, meaning a drive to the abbey is normally for another purpose. For a time of retreat, perhaps; a chance to grow in one’s faith. Or to find peace in a place that’s silent but for the breeze whispering through the leaves.

Whatever the reason, there’s a feeling that something else is going on here — something greater than the production of 30,000 fruitcakes every year.