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.

How do you and your community as a whole respond to the needs of the priest shortage?

How do you and your community as a whole respond to the needs of the greater church in this time of reduced vocations to the priesthood? I am a 23-year old college graduate who feels the still small voice of a vocation to the priesthood, but I feel a strong affinity for the contemplative life. With discerning the two different paths (parish priest or a monk) I feel self-centered thinking about the contemplative life when there is such a need for parish priests.

How do I set times each day for praying the Divine Office?

How is it best to decide the set times each day for praying the Divine Office? I am starting to integrate Lectio Divina into my daily life, but not sure when to schedule for myself. From what I've read so far, there are no absolute times, but it would help in spacing out & structuring my day to have more info on this.

I am in a non-regularized marriage for thirty years - can I become a monk?

I have been in a non regularized marriage for more than thirty years. My wife and I are living as brother and sister at present in order to be able to receive the Eucharist rightly. I have always wanted to be some sort of religious. I have always loved the simplicity and poverty of Cistercian spirituality. I realize that I must either regularize my marriage or dissolve it.

Can someone who has college debt join the Trappistines?

I am a recent Masters graduate and have incurred a little bit of debt (around $14,000). I know that some orders allow those with debt to enter (they are allowed to work their debt off as they make their vows). Is it possible with this order? Thank you so much for taking the time to answer all of these questions! God Bless!

Do monks typically avoid stimulus coming from their environment?

In terms of physical activity and lots of stimulus in the environment, do monks withdraw from large gatherings and spend a lot of time in solitary, peaceful rest and some communication with a few other monks?

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