18-25 January, 2015 - The Abbey goes on retreat




Throughout the year, the monks of Gethsemani welcome hundreds of visitors who come here for a retreat, a time away from their busy lives.

Although the life of a monk may look relatively peaceful from the outside, we too need a special time set apart for rest from our work in the monastery's industries and a time for more intense prayer and spiritual reading.




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Each year, therefore, as the Church herself mandates, the monks take one week of retreat. This year, our retreat was held from the 18th through the 25th of January.

As usual, we had a guest who led us in the retreat with conferences twice daily and with personal interviews as the monks wished.

Dom Gerard, the abbot of the monastery of Genesee near Rochester, was our retreat leader this year and his conferences were wonderfully warm and wise. He spoke at length about the monastic life as it is lived in the Cistercian charism, about its basic foundations, its joys and pitfalls. There was much to be gained and pondered, and taken back to the regular routine of our life here when the retreat was over.