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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 July 29, 2021

A brother said to a hermit, ‘If I see a monk about whom I have heard that he is guilty of a sin, I cannot make myself invite him into my cell. But if I see a good monk, I bring him in gladly. ’The hermit said, ‘If you do good to a good brother it is nothing to him, but to the other give double charity, for he is sick.’

Love overcomes a multitude of sins.

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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

“A Damascus Experience"

“Suddenly, everything I thought I wanted: marriage, an upper middle class life, the prospect of making a home to raise children – was all not enough. It wasn’t the One Great Thing. I sensed that the Lord was calling me to the monastery….”