THE TRADITION OF HOSPITALITY
Hospitality maintains a prominence in the living monastic tradition. As outlined in Saint Benedict’s Rule for Monasteries, the guest represents Christ and has a claim on the welcome and care of the community.b The Abbey of Gethsemani has received guests from the first days of its foundation in 1848. People from all over the world are welcomed by the monks.
PRAYER & RECOLLECTION The monastic milieu offers a place apart “to entertain silence in the heart and listen for the voice of God – to pray for your own discovery.” (Thomas Merton)
Communing with the Lord requires a measure of solitude, a stillness and an emptiness, a waiting on and attending to the Spirit. Silence fosters and preserves the climate of prayer and is thus a fundamental part of the Gethsemani retreat experience.Speaking is permitted in designated areas. Retreatants are asked to limit their speaking to those areas only. The abbey’s many acres of woodlands and fields afford extensive space for reflection and prayer.
Abbey retreats are silent, unstructured and undirected. Private consultation with one of the monks can be arranged, if desired. Guests are welcome to participate in the Eucharist and hours of prayer. The library has an ample selection of classic and contemporary religious and other books and periodicals.
In the Guesthouse there are 30 rooms for men and women, all with private baths and showers, five with two beds, and several for persons with disabilities. The Guesthouse is air-conditioned and has an elevator.
The Monastery Wing has 15 single rooms for men only, all with sinks. Other wash facilities are in common. There is no air condtioning (fans are provided) and no elevator. These rooms are not suitable for people with disabilities.
All buildings are smoke-free.