17-24 January 2016 - The community takes a retreat.




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Each year the community of Gethsemani welcomes nearly 2,000 people who come here to make a retreat. But for one week of the year, the community itself takes a break from its usual activities for its own retreat.

The week, for most of the monks, is spent in reflection, reading and rest. Each day begins and ends with a talk by a visiting retreat master. This helps to set the tone and gives matter for reflection throughout the day.

This year, we were very pleased that Dom Brendan Freeman, OCSO, agreed to lead our retreat. His talks were warm and full of wisdom and wit. Dom Brendan, true to his Irish heritage, has what folks call the gift of the gab, and the community enjoyed his presence immensely.


Dom Brendan was abbot of New Melleray abbey in Iowa for 30 years. New Melleray is the second oldest Trappist monastery in the United States. It was founded less than a year after Gethsemani, in 1849, from Mount Melleray abbey in Ireland. It currently serves as the appointed mother house of Gethsemani.

Dom Brendan retired as abbot a few years ago, but was not able to rest on his considerable laurels for long. He was asked, and agreed, to serve as superior ad nutum of Holy Trinity abbey in Utah as it enters a period of transition.




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