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Staying at various benedictine monasteries


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Greetings!

This a few whizz questions-

As a "mature" single female, I recently came into some money, and am wanting to travel (automobile) to various parts of the state's by myself. Would it be possible to stay for short periods of time in various benedictine retreat houses etc along the way? What is the protocol? Has anyone on here done that sort of thing before? Advice?..It would be a much needed spiritual adventure for me! 

Thank you

Edited by nikita92
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I think most of them have guest houses and would allow you to stay for a stipend amount. You would have to arrange for this beforehand so that they can make sure they have room available for you! I think you need to kind of plot out your travels and then begin contacting monasteries with concrete dates. The more advance notice you can give, the better.

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JHFamily is correct - most monasteries have at least a few guest rooms; they all "receive guests as Christ." But making arrangements in advance is always preferred. When you contact a monastery to make arrangements, you might ask about:
- the daily schedule - meals, Mass, hours of the divine office,
- eating arrangements (with the nuns/monks, separate, self-catering),  
- whether/when you can pray with the sisters or monks,
- whether they have a set stipend
- any 'stay limit' such as three days 
- spiritual direction (confession, if it's a monastery of monks, or just discussion, Q & A, recognizing the short-term nature of the relationship).
- Most have religious reading available, perhaps as access to a library or maybe just books on shelves in the guest area.
- Any places which are off-limits to guests such as the cloister proper. 
- If you pray the divine office with them, they may assign someone to set up the books to the correct pages... they're complicated. The chants can be complicated, too, if you're not practiced in the melodies used in that particular monastery. 

I made a retreat at a monastery. There was no set stipend; they accepted free will offerings only (otherwise they're subject to all sorts of government regulation, taxation, reporting, and I don't know what all). I figured what a hotel would have cost, gave myself a healthy discount, threw in some extra for the meals - which were excellent! - and the monks considered that I was being very generous. In that particular monastery, I think most guests lowball their offering. 

As a man in a monastery of monks, I ate with them in their refectory. Women guests would have eaten in the common area of the guest wing. I supposed it would be the opposite in a monastery of nuns. 

But since they do this on a regular basis, they'll know what they need to tell you, even if you don't think to ask. 

ENJOY! I found it very beneficial. 

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Many religious houses--maybe most--are currently not even opening their chapels to outsiders, much less their guest houses. So you may need to wait until life returns to normal, or at least closer to normal. Most of the communities I know of don't even allow their sisters who live outside the motherhouse to attend Mass there. 

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Mazal tov on your recent inheritance/windfall/lottery win, or whatever has given you enough $$$ to think about traveling a bit.  Use it, as the Jewish saying goes, in good health, Nikita.

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It is  unlikely that monasteries (or other religious houses) have visitors now - COVID prevents this. I know there were times Benedictines offered hospitality, but equally bear in  mind that what once were thriving monasteries may be very small. The questions Luigi mentions are good to broach, provided you know the monastery receives guests in the first place. (Even vocation retreats probably are not in place now, and wouldn't be until after lockdown.) 

If you are taking a lengthy trip, I'd recommend you be cautious about assuming that you can do this by staying in varied religious houses. But don't even think of showing up unexpectedly. (Not that you made this plain - but I knew of cases, years ago, where priests or religious who were travelling could show up at Benedictine houses and ask for hospitality, and I assume that laypeople might have had that option, as well.) A monastery, today, may have four members left, two of whom are 96. 

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PaxCordisJesu

I don't know where you're planning on staying, but I do know that Clear Creek Abbey in Hulbert, OK and the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Gower, MO are both receiving guests. Never been to Gower, but Clear Creek has excellent accommodation for women, including meals served daily.

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Definitely contact them ahead of time. The Benedictine monasteries in my area are closed to visitors because of the pandemic and the risk to elderly and infirm nuns.  

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In addition to the policies of individual monasteries, the idea of their accepting a visitor who has been to a bunch of other places is also potentially endangering to the community. I don't know if you have been fully vaccinated but, even if you have been, you can still transmit Covid to others and will have been potentially exposed in a lot of places. Would you be able to be frequently and reliably tested? There are SO many considerations here. 

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Thank you everyone! 

There is indeed alot to consider; Some of which I neglected to think of on my own! So all of the input is greatly appreciated for sure! Also, the last thing I would want, is to possibly expose anyone to Covid. I might need to wait until all the state's have reached phase 4. Thanks again!

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I have stayed at several religious guest facilities and made arrangements through email, although I imagine many are not accepting guests at the moment. Not all Benedictine's do this, despite their history, and some do it on more of an emergency bases.  I am guessing you are open to non-Benedictine. Many orders that have retreat space will also let you stay for a private retreat, even if just a night. The usual donation is around $50, unless stated otherwise. Typically there is an envelope so that donation is confidential. 

Here are a few monasteries that are lovely and that I've enjoyed

-St. Scholastica Priory, Petersham MA (near Boston) http://www.stscholasticapriory.org large guesthouse

-Transfiguration Nuns, Windsor NY, small and cozy http://www.transfigurationmonastery.org/pages/Hospitality.php

-Abbey of the Genesee Trappist Monks, multiple guest houses, check out the website for the rustic chapel that is perfect for meditation and the utterly breathtaking scenery. By far my favorite chants  https://www.abbeyretreats.org

-Franciscan's of the Immaculate in Bloomington IN https://marymediatrix.com/who-we-are/bloomington-in/

-Passionist Nuns in Scranton PA (modern) https://www.passionistnunsclarkssummit.org/retreat-center/

-The Brooklyn Carmelite Nuns used to let woman stay in what might have been their discerner rooms. That was a few years ago, but worth a call https://brooklyncarmel.org

I have found some in the past by googling "catholic retreat" and the area.

Edited by andibc
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7 minutes ago, andibc said:

I have stayed at several religious guest facilities and made arrangements through email, although I imagine many are not accepting guests at the moment. Not all Benedictine's do this, despite their history, and some do it on more of an emergency bases.  I am guessing you are open to non-Benedictine. Many orders that have retreat space will also let you stay for a private retreat, even if just a night. The usual donation is around $50, unless stated otherwise. Typically there is an envelope so that donation is confidential. 

Here are a few monasteries that are lovely and that I've enjoyed

-St. Scholastica Priory, Petersham MA (near Boston) http://www.stscholasticapriory.org large guesthouse

-Transfiguration Nuns, Windsor NY, small and cozy http://www.transfigurationmonastery.org/pages/Hospitality.php

-Abbey of the Genesee Trappist Monks, multiple guest houses, check out the website for the rustic chapel that is perfect for meditation and the utterly breathtaking scenery. By far my favorite chants  https://www.abbeyretreats.org

-Franciscan's of the Immaculate in Bloomington IN https://marymediatrix.com/who-we-are/bloomington-in/

-Passionist Nuns in Scranton PA (modern) https://www.passionistnunsclarkssummit.org/retreat-center/

-The Brooklyn Carmelite Nuns used to let woman stay in what might have been their discerner rooms. That was a few years ago, but worth a call https://brooklyncarmel.org

I have found some in the past by googling "catholic retreat" and the area.

Wow! 

That is wonderful! 

Thank you for the info!!! I am going to have to start a file folder of ideas! ;)

Another idea, might be to just rent a small RV and maybe inquire if I could just stay overnight in their parking lots! 

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