Retreat Center News
- North Street Comes to Mepkin – Last week in December 2018
- Intergenerational Retreat, January 19 – 22, 2018
- September 2017 Mepkin Hosts its First Care for Caregivers Retreat
- Sept. 29, 2017 Brother Don Bisson Shares Spiritual Insight at Mepkin Abbey
Saint Francis Retreat Center books 12 retreatants each week from Friday to Monday or Monday to Friday. Reservations are made online from our website.
We offer an atmosphere of silence and solitude for those with us to come home to themselves and share in our prayer life, menu, and the awesome landscape of the monastery. We offer a variety of retreats listed on our calendar of events.
An individual retreat offers one the opportunity to set one’s retreat format while emphasizing silence, personal prayer and reflection. Retreatants are also invited to join the monks in their public prayer as often as desired. Spiritual Mentoring for a 30- minute meeting with a monk and the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation are available.
Group retreats are also offered around such themes as Initial Retreats for Elders, Care for Caregivers Retreats, Urban Contemplatives Retreats, Contemplative Retreats and other themed retreats.
Rooms in the St. Francis Retreat Center include a bed, desk, reading chair, and private bath. Bed linens, towels, and soap are provided. Married couples can be accommodated in adjoining rooms.
Retreatants take their meals together in a dining facility adjacent to the monastic community’s refectory, with the same vegetarian diet and observing the same silence as the monks. During the main meal at noon a book is read aloud by one of the monks for the benefit of all.
Retreatants may attend any and all prayer services in the Abbey Church and have a designated section in the monastic choir to accommodate them, if they so desire. One of the monks assists the retreatants with the order of prayer so as to facilitate their full participation.
On May 16th, Fr. Kevin Walsh joined 14 of the novice directors from other Cistercian monasteries in the United States for a meeting at Saint Joseph Abbey in Spencer, MA. Gathered were five directors from women’s houses (including one from the common observance house of women in Idaho) and ten directors from men’s houses. Sessions were focused on the topic of spiritual accompaniment using Dom Bernardo Olivera’s book A Light for my Path to organize the presentations and discussions.Read More »
On January 12th, 2016, the memorial of Saint Aelred, Father Jim Caffrey began his time as a postulant at Mepkin Abbey arriving from Dublin, Ireland. A priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin, Father Jim had visited Mepkin a number of times, lived with us for an extended period as an observer and came to hold firmly that God is calling him to join the community at Mepkin. It was all the unfolding of his response to God’s call to live the life of a contemplative monk. His years of service as a diocesan priest included parish work and many years as director of the Office for Young Adults. In each parish he offered the faithful the opportunity to learn about contemplative prayer, in particular lectio divina. Kindly keep Father Jim in your prayers and pray for those men involved in a process of discernment with us believing God may be calling them to enter Mepkin.
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We are pleased to have Jason Allen return Mepkin to in order to have a time with us as an observer. Jason has visited Mepkin previously and grown in his belief that God is calling him to take up the Cistercian life of work and prayer living according to the Rule of Saint Benedict. Travelling from Athens, Georgia where he works as a manager of a restaurant, Jason came to us having been discerning his monastic call for many years. Along the way he allowed himself to visit a number of monasteries, speaking with his spiritual director regularly, relying on the wisdom and insight of his spiritual director as he came to more fully understand God’s will for him. Please keep Jason in your prayers as he begins the formal process of application to enter Mepkin.Read More »
Earlier this year a letter was sent to all the religious superiors of the United States to invite them and each of the novices in the United States to attend the mass of the canonization of Junipero Serra to be celebrated by Pope Francis at the Basilica National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. Abbot Stan had to decline but gave his permission for our novices to participate. And so our Brother Juan and Brother Martin, accompanied by Brother John and Father Kevin travelled up to Washington by car the day before and received wonderful hospitality from Father Brian Shloth at the LaSalette community at their house of studies near the Catholic University of America. The mass was to be celebrated at 4 PM. Early the morning of the mass the Mepkin contingent joined the long lines waiting to pass through the security stations with metal detectors and went to their designated places for the mass. The novices and Brother John were with the huge number of novices inside the basilica. Father Kevin was outside in the area reserved for the priests who were concelebrating. There was a wonderful spirit of unity in faith and a prevailing sense of cordiality as the hours passed waiting for the Holy Father to arrive. As everyone knows, upon arrival the pope passed through the crowd outdoors in the ‘popemobile’ receiving a joyous welcome from all in attendance. As had been planned, Pope Francis entered the basilica, visited the Blessed Sacrament chapel for a brief time of prayer, and then slowly walked up the center aisle of the basilica waving to the novices who were welcoming him with loud and hearty cheering. (For all of us gathered outside we knew the Holy Father was with the novices as the loud cheering erupted, spilling out to where we were listening to the wonderful music provided by combined choirs and an excellent orchestra). When he reached the sanctuary, Pope Francis turned and offered prepared remarks to the novices and gave them his blessing.Read More »