Visitor's Questions

An encounter with the age-old hidden life of monks and nuns can awaken a variety of responses in those formed by contemporary American culture. Cistercian monks and nuns recognize this and are happy to answer questions put to us by visitors to our monasteries. We welcome any questions you might have and our responses are offered as an expression of monastic hospitality. Please use the form at the bottom of this page to submit your questions.

What sort of academic training does a Trappist get?

Do Trappist monks receive academic instruction after progressing beyond the novice stage? If so, of what does the academic curriculum/program consist?


What does a Trappist library contain?

What does the typical Trappist monastery library contain? Are the books only on the Christian tradition, or are there books on secular topics and other spiritual paths? How about periodicals and newspapers?

What sort of books and magazines do Trappists have access to?

An earlier question on the “Visitor's Questions” page concerning books in the monastery intrigued me. Thomas Merton seemed to have access to all manner of reading material--secular as well as spiritual. (I remember reading a journal entry where he jokingly expressed his worry that the Abbot might find the copies of "Newsweek" under his bed).


Do Trappists vote in a presidential election?

With one of the most important presidential elections in recent history approaching, I was wondering if Trappist monks vote in presidential and other elections?


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