How a Man Becomes a Monk

Each year a number of men make inquiries about life at Holy Spirit Monastery. If you are one of these, you can rest assured that you will receive any information you need to help guide your search and decision-making process.

While it's true that you might never know for sure that your choices are the best ones for you, still there is no harm in walking through a discernment process that can help bring you to a point of greater clarity about the direction in which God is leading you - whether this be in or out of the monastery.

We are open to receiving into our community anyone whose disposition is to learn the skill of loving in a more authentic way.

We could specify any number of qualities required even before the discernment process begins - such as the ability to live with imperfection, whether it be one's own or that of others; or the capacity to develop skills for compassion, intimacy, trust and vulnerability; or the awareness of healthy sexual impulses and the ability to handle them in a responsible way.

We don't expect a candidate for our life to have such skills significantly developed prior to admission, but we feel it's reasonable to expect that he at least would have the capacity to develop them. We recognize that the development of any skills - by which we mean observable behaviors which can be learned and developed - is an ongoing process.

At the same time we feel that to live our life skillfully it is important that you be in reasonably good physical, mental and spiritual health. We would want you to be unmarried, Catholic, free of obligations arising from the needs of family members or previous marriages, or from debt. You would need to have enough emotional maturity to accept the challenges of community living.

Not everyone has the ability or temperament to live in a monastic enclosure, and that would be an area that we would need to probe in terms of what is best for you. Our pace is far slower than life in a big city. Were the latter in your blood, you would be encouraged to gradually adjust to our gently flowing monastic rhythm. But then you can be sure that you would receive lots of support in connecting with our unique pace in prayer, work, and other areas of monastic life.

We are open to admitting more mature men into our community, while recognizing the difficulty that an older person experiences in entering into a radically new way of life. But we discern this matter on an individual basis.