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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.

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.

CLICK TO SEE a larger view of the retreatants lobby

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.

Click on each image above to see a larger view

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. See daily schedule for times.

The library has an ample selection of classic and contemporary religious and other books, periodicals and tapes. Retreatants may bring their own tape players with earphones. Click on each image below to view a larger picture.

Retreatant's Library

Retreatant's Dining Room

Each guest room is private with its own bathroom. Accommodations for the handicapped are available. The retreat house is air-conditioned and is a non-smoking facility. There is an elevator to all four levels.

Click on the image to see a larger view.

Double guest room

Single guest room

In addition to the main retreat house, an area of the monastery is available for male retreatants year-round. Here, each guest has a private room with a sink, but shares a bathroom. This section is not air conditioned; however, fans are provided.

Retreat Time Frames:

Weekday retreats – Monday to Friday
Weekend retreats – Friday to Monday

For two weekday and two weekend retreats per month, reservations are restricted to women. Openings for women begin on the first and third Monday of the month, and weekend retreats follow immediately.

During both men and women's retreat periods any unbooked rooms will be made available to either men or women.

For the remaining weekday and weekend periods, reservations are open to men.  When reservations are canceled, those rooms are offered on a first-call basis to men or women.

Even during women's retreat periods, there will usually be a dozen or so men who are staying in the monastery itself and will use the retreat house facilities.

For retreat accommodations just down the road from us, please see
Bethany Spring