Monastic Guest Program


The Monastic Guest Program offers an opportunity for men 21 and older to experience monastic life. Applicants to the Monastic Guest Program should be in good physical and psychological health. The Monastic Guest Program is for men who are not considering a monastic vocation. Men considering a monastic vocation should contact the Vocation Director.

The Monastic Guest Program is for men who are not considering a monastic vocation.  Men considering a monastic vocation should contact the Vocation Director.

The Monastic Guest Program aims to help men open their hearts more fully to God by:

  • Participating in Divine Office and Liturgy with a monastic community. 
  • Growing in private prayer, particularly contemplative prayer, and Lectio Divina
  • Encountering God in silence and solitude.   
  • Fostering deeper knowledge of self through silence and solitude. 
  • Experiencing simple work and lifestyle. 
  • Exploring ways to surrender more completely to God’s will. 
  • Developing practices and techniques for prayerful use in different circumstances. 
  • Living in a Monastic Community.

Monastic Guests sleeping quarters are in a special section of the Guest House.  Monastic Guests eat breakfast in the retreat house refectory. In all other ways, Monastic Guests live as we monks during their visit. The Monastic Guest experience is not a retreat in the ordinary sense. Instead, it is an immersion in monastic life that aims to achieve the goals bulleted above.

Participants in the Monastic Guest Program live our schedule.  Our general daily schedule appears below:

3:45 a.m.Bell for rising.
4:00 a.m.Vigils (usually lasts about 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes).
After VigilsBreakfast available, Lectio Divina, private time.
7:00 a.m.Mass and Lauds.
After Mass/LaudsBreakfast available.
8:45 a.m.Morning work begins.
11:45 a.m.Morning work ends.
12:15 p.m.Mid-day office.
After Mid-Day OfficeMid-day community meal.
2:30 p.m.Afternoon work begins.
4:30 p.m.Afternoon work ends.  Supper available.
5:20 p.m.Vespers.
After VespersSupper available.  Private time.
7:30Compline
After ComplineRetire.

In addition, Monastic Guests take part in a Saturday Lectio Divina sharing session at 6:30 p.m. and a discussion Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.   There is no work on Sundays, special holidays, and holy days.  On Sundays, adoration takes place in the Chapel from 4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Applicants

The Monastic Guest Program is open to men of all faiths, in good physical and psychological health, who are 21 years or older, regardless of marital status.

Applicants should provide their name, address, and phone number with their initial inquiry. 

 Applicants need to provide three letters of recommendation from pastors, spiritual directors, or others familiar with their spiritual life, maturity, and readiness to enter the Monastic Guest Program.  Contact information should be provided with each reference. 

A background check is conducted on all applicants.

As a final step in the application process, applicants generally come for a first 3—5 days visit, during which they will be interviewed by monks experienced with the program. 

Once accepted, a visit for a minimum of one month may be scheduled. Guests who wish to stay longer than one month will receive a monthly evaluation to address any relevant issues or concerns and decide whether a longer stay is beneficial to the Monastic Guest and our Monastic Community.

Men 21 years or older who are interested in the Monastery’s Guest program can apply by contacting Brother Philip at philip@trappist.net.  Inquiries should include your name, your reasons for interest in the program, and a brief autobiography of about 1½ to 2 pages.  Brother Philip will contact all applicants to follow up. 

Is the Cistercian Monastic Life for you?

Recommended Readings

Intrigued by the monastic lifestyle? We’ve recommended readings to help you gain a deeper understanding of the community and discernment.

VOCATION DISCERNMENT

You can learn more about our life at our American Region’s website. It has a Newcomer’s Guide to Trappist life, Steps to Becoming a Monk or Nun, and much more information about all our Cistercian monasteries in the USA. American Region’s Vocation Website: www.trappists.org

Also visit our own vocation site: olhsvocation.com

Our Vocation Team can be reached by sending an e-mail message to vocation@trappist.net
(770) 483-8705 (extension 360)

RETREAT SCHEDULES