An important aspect of our Benedictine charism is hospitality to guests. Since the very beginning of monasticism, even with the desert solitaries, showing hospitality to others, even if they were just fellow monks on a journey, was part and parcel of monastic life because our life is patterned on the Gospel. Jesus’ injunction to welcome the stranger (Matthew 25:35) as if it were he himself is the basis for St. Benedict’s teaching that “all guests who present themselves are to be received as Christ” (Rule ch. 53). For this purpose, Benedictine monasteries have always had guesthouses where pilgrims could lodge for the night or those seeking closer contact with God could make a short private retreat.
Our guesthouse, with 17 private single rooms and two doubles, is managed jointly by us and by the nuns of St. Scholastica Priory. It is a short distance from the monasteries and the church. Food for informal meals is provided for breakfast and supper. Male guests are welcome to eat lunch with the monks in their refectory, while female guests eat at St. Scholastica Priory. It is not a retreat house, that is, we do not offer guided retreats or ongoing spiritual direction. However, guests may ask to talk to a member of the community or a priest if desiring the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We welcome both men and women, with our Guest Master caring for the men and the Guest Mistress from St. Scholastica Priory caring for the women. Guests can enjoy fellowship with each other, but should remember that most retreatants are seeking the opportunity to pray or read in an atmosphere of silence. Therefore, the guesthouse is not the best place for young children and we do not allow pets. We do allow groups to use our guesthouse with the understanding that the members of the group will respect other retreatants’ privacy and desire for quiet.