The Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani is a Trappist monastery near Bardstown, Kentucky in Nelson County—situated on more than 2,000 acres of farmland, and considered to be the "mother house" of all Trappist and Trappistine monasteries in the United States of America. Founded December 21, 1848 and made an abbey in 1851, Gethsemani was made famous when the monk Thomas Merton—acclaimed author and poet—made the abbey his home. Gethsemani is the oldest monastery in the United States of America that is still in use. The monastery is well-known for its store—Gethsemani Farms—which offers handmade Trappist cheese, fruitcake and bourbon fudge on-site and by mail order. The current Abbot of the abbey is Fr. Elias Dietz.