The Welcome Center includes a film and a display about monastic life at Gethsemani, and a shop with our products and a fine selection of gifts and books.  It is open Monday-Saturday, 9-5, with the exception of public holidays and holy days of obligation. For a detailed list of these, click 

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No advance arrangements are needed to attend church services and walk the grounds. For service times,

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We ask you to bear in mind that the monastic life is lived as a separation from the world. For that purpose, much of the property behind the church, and the monastery itself outside of the church, are enclosed areas. Signs are posted to mark enclosed areas and if there is a wall or a fence, generally it too marks an enclosed area. If you are in doubt, please ask.

The west side of the property, about 1200 acres on the side of the road opposite the church, is open to the public for extended walks and hikes. There are miles of trails through the knobs on this side of the road. For maps of the trails, ask at the Welcome Center. Feel free to strike off on your own, but take note of the turns you take. People (including monks) have gotten lost over there!

We sometimes have requests from people to visit the hermitage which was built for Thomas Merton. The hermitage is still in use by members of the community for private retreats, and so is not open to the public. We thank you for respecting this very private space.

Groups may phone 502/549-4406 to advise of their plans to visit. There are no tours given of the monastery or grounds. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide meals for day visitors.



Hospitality is an essential element of the monastic life. In his 5th century Rule, Saint Benedict says “Let all guests that come to the monastery be received as Christ.
For one day he will say: 'I was a stranger and you welcomed me.'”




Visitors have been welcomed at Gethsemani

from the first days of its foundation in 1848.