For the Sake of Silence
This fictionalised account of the successful but controversial monastery of Mariannhill and its founder, Franz Pfanner, focuses on the contemplative nature of the Trappist order, known for their rule of silence. Monks are specifically forbidden to do missionary work other than by silent example.
The conflict generated between observance of the Rule and the increasing involvement of certain Mariannhill monks in missionary activity throughout Natal and East Griqualand drives the narrative. Mariannhill was expelled from the Trappist order for its apostolic activities in 1907, but only after the dismissal of its flamboyant Abbot and a period of deep dissension within the monastery and in the fractured society surrounding it.