So What’s a Monastery Retreat Like?

 Would you like to experience a monastery retreat?   If you are wanting to get away, to reflect on your life, to spend some time with God, think about a retreat at a Benedictine monastery.

If you’ve never done this before — read on to find out what you may find on your retreat.  Also go to our blog page, titled “Reflections.”  This blog will give you some ideas of what your experience will be like and what Benedictine styles of prayer are like.  Blog contributors include staff and guests of members of the Association of Benedictine Retreat Centers.

If you are going on a private retreat — that is, you alone or you and some friends who are committing to mostly silence — you have some options as to how to structure your time.

In a private retreat, you can take time for personal growth in your faith life, including prayer and reflection in solitude.  You might bring a journal or some spiritual reading.  Many retreat centers have a small library of spiritual reading materials available for you.

In a directed retreat, you would also have the opportunity to meet daily with a spiritual director at which time prayer and Scripture suggestions may be given for your prayer times.  The retreatant shares with the director how God is working in his/her life. (For more information about meeting with a spiritual director, you might look at this pamphlet.)

There are a number of perks in going to a Benedictine monastery for your retreat.  You will usually be invited to attend Liturgy of the Hours with the monastic community.  Most monasteries have BEAUTIFUL grounds, so bring your walking shoes.  There may be a library with recommendations for spiritual reading.  You may want to eat your meals in silence, but some monasteries allow guests to eat with the community.  Be prepared to meet some very alive and interesting people.

Many of the ABRC member retreat centers have facilities for group retreats and conferences.  Check out each one on the Find a Retreat Center page to see which will best meet your needs.  They may also have staff who could provide input for your group.

So, don’t be afraid to give it a try!  Know that you will be welcomed and wrapped in Benedictine Hospitality during your stay.