Coming to Monastic Life — 

More Details: Rule and Life

“This Order is a monastic institute

wholly ordered to contemplation.” - Constitution 2


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Gethsemani, as part of the
Roman Catholic
Cistercian Order of the
Strict Observance (OCSO),
follows the Rule of St Benedict 
as interpreted by its own
Constitutions and Statutes. 

It is a monastery under the
rule of an abbot. 


Ora et Labora 
is stamped on every box of fruitcake
that goes out of the monastery. 
In English, the phrase means
"Pray and Work," two imperatives. 

These are the two broad categories
under which most of our activities fall.

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Under prayer we would find
the daily Mass,
the centerpiece of the day,
the recitation of the psalms
through our daily offices,
lectio divina, or scriptural
reading, and private prayer.


Our work is manual labor
for the most part. 
We support ourselves by making
fruitcake and fudge. 
In addition, the monks take turns
with housekeeping chores. 

There is some internal work as well,
cooking, laundry and so forth. 
Those in formation
will attend regular classes. 

The OCSO does not engage
in traditional parish work. 

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