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.

Can I maintain my own dietary discipline as a Trappist?

Are the monks and nuns strict vegetarians (no meat, fish,chicken ever)? I am a 90% raw food vegetarian and have been for many years.  If I wanted to become a Trappist monk and maintain my dietary discipline.  Would that be possible? Are monks and nuns strictly separated from each other in their living and working conditions?

Is there a place for extroverts in the monastery?

I have been asking myself whether a monastery which lives the strict observance of silence will accept a person who is an extrovert.  Is there a place for extroverts in the monastery?   Would a man from Africa, joining one of your monasteries in the U.S., be allowed to visit his parents who are sick, or attend their funeral? 

Leaving the Monastery to Care for a Sick Parent

Is a Trappist normally permitted to leave the monastery to care for a sick or aging parent in cases of necessity?

I have a question regarding the day to day life of Trappists with regard to life essentials

I have a question regarding the day to day life of Trappists with regard to life essentials. What I mean is what about things like new shoes and clothes or toiletries. New glasses for reading and such. I am considering joining the Trappists but these questions pester me. I know of a group of Benedictines who are given a certain allowance each year to cover these costs and each monk goes to town on his own and purchases what he needs. How do the Trappists deal with this? If I need a new pair of shoes and new socks and underwear, say 2 years after becoming a member, what happens?


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