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Balancing Prayer, Reading and Work

We are the Cistercians of the Strict Observance, a religious order of monks and nuns in the Roman Catholic Church, also known as “Trappists” or “Trappistines”.

We believe in the power of deep, contemplative prayer, and we pursue it wholeheartedly by following the centuries’ old Rule of St. Benedict. In simplicity, silence and separation from dominant culture, we balance the practices of prayer, reading and work.

Our deep inner lives, distinct daily rhythms and shared spiritual journey become a continuous prayer of life—to God and for the world.

People who meet Jesus experience profound transformations. Our hearts ache to give expression to the love awakened by the encounter. We must let go of selfishness and fear to love this fully and freely. This work of letting go and loving God is called conversion—and that is what life in a Trappist monastery is all about.

Learn more about becoming a Trappist.

Daily Reflection for April 3, 2020

Abba Anthony said, 'The Gospel says, "if anyone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also." (Matt. 5.39) They said, 'We cannot do that.' The old man said, 'If you cannot offer the other cheek, at least allow one cheek to be struck.' 'We cannot do that either, ' they said. So he said, 'If you are not able to do that, do not return evil for evil, ' and they said, 'we cannot do that either.' Then the old man said to his disciple, 'Prepare a little brew of corn for these invalids. If you cannot do this, or that, what can I do for you? What you need is prayers.'

Do we have the faith necessary to follow Christ in His way of nonviolent and reconciling love?

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Deep inner life.

A Trappist seeks to let go of daily distractions to free the mind and heart for deep contemplation of God. Our activities and attire are simple and humble. Our grounds are profoundly silent save for purposeful speech, quiet chant and the sounds of nature. We are lovers of place and find blessings in union with and stewardship of creation. We maintain decided degrees of separation from the outside world—so that we may continually renew ourselves and the world through prayer.

Distinct daily rhythms.

The Trappist experience balances the spiritual, intellectual and physical with a life of steady rhythms. Days are punctuated with frequent prayer and worship, the study of sacred texts, and simple, honest work that sustains our earthly mission.

Each activity enriches the other, keeping our hands, hearts and minds fully alive—so that we are always ready to listen and respond to God’s call.

Shared spiritual journey.

Trappist communities bring together people of diverse ages and backgrounds who share a deep desire to know God, discern His will, and to give ourselves over to His love.

We grow in friendship, support each individual’s ongoing formation and wellbeing, and draw inspiration as we encounter the presence of Jesus Christ in community.

Join us for these upcoming discernment retreats...

Vocation Stories

“The more I discovered Christian mysticism, the more it attracted me.”

During my first year of college, I had so much drifted away from the church, for various reasons, that I soon stopped considering myself Catholic. However, early into my sophomore year, while studying abroad, I had a sort of spiritual crisis.  These questions initiated a search which led me to discover…

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