Is there an age limit for entering the monastery?
You must be a single Catholic man between the ages of 22-??. We prefer a man to have either worked for a few years or completed some college before entering the monastery after high school. Likewise, those who are older often find it more difficult to modify and change their way of living; we leave the upper age limit open and make decisions on a case by case basis. Some monasteries have found that older candidates are able to readily adjust to their monastic life and community, whilst others find that older vocations experience a particular hardship and do not adapt well at all. This can be a result of the size of the monastery, the men in the monastery, the particular work of the monastery, the man himself, etc. There is no hard and fast rule, which is why every religious community is different in setting age limits.
Do I have to be Catholic to join the monastery?
The simple answer is, Yes. If you are not Catholic at the moment, your first step is to approach your Priest and discuss with him how to begin the RCIA process at your local parish. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is known as RCIA. Once you have become Catholic or come into full communion with the Church, you should then begin involving yourself in parish life. In these first two years after becoming Catholic, the Church refers to you as a neophyte...a new Catholic! During these two years, visit our Abbey and become involved here to learn if God is truly calling you to the monastic life. At the end of those two years you would be free to apply for entrance to our monastery.
What if I am divorced?
You will first need to receive a declaration of nullity for your previous marriage. Work with your parish priest for this process. Once that is secured you will also need to make sure any obligations to dependent children are completed.
What is the process for joining the monastery?
First contact the vocation director and discuss with him your desire to become a monk. Then ask to schedule a visit to see what the place is like. From there, the vocation director will guide you through the rest of the steps.
Do monks have free time?
The monk’s day is scheduled. There are times that are set for the whole community for work, prayer, and meals. Other times are set aside for recreation. Each monk is able to recreate in the manner that they personally find most helpful. Monks use their recreation time for exercise, hobbies, reading, and socializing with each other.
Are monks able to take a vacation?
Each member is allowed two weeks of vacation time. Many monks use this time to visit family and friends. Some take their vacation all at one time, while others break up the two weeks throughout the year.
Do monks have pets?
Some monks do have pets. The decision to keep a pet is made in discussion with the Abbot.
Are family members allowed to visit monks?
Most definitely. Family is very important for everyone. Depending upon the availability of guest space the monks' families are always welcome to come for visits. Some monks have family who live near the Abbey, so they are encouraged to visit with them more often.