Today, the Cistercian Order is organized into fourteen congregations and two federations with over two-thousand-five-hundred men and women. Cistercian monasteries are spread across the globe in Europe, Africa, North and South America and Asia, with many of the fastest growing Cistercian communities belonging to the Vietnamese Congregation of the Holy Family.
There is a rich diversity among the many monasteries of the Cistercian Order. Seeking to offer a distinctly monastic form of service, Cistercian communities have defined their relationship to the Church and to the world in a variety of ways. Cistercian monks and nuns are thus engaged in a range of works, including education, pastoral ministry, manual labor, scholarly work and hospitality. Seeking to combine ancient monastic traditions with apostolic or missionary tasks, the many Cistercian communities are bound together by their common aspirations, values and traditions, as well as by the shared structures and juridical organs that facilitate their cooperation and solidarity.