Contemplative Aging Retreats

Mepkin Abbey, a Cistercian monastery, provides a serene place of natural beauty and quiet – the perfect setting – to help participants find the contemplative practice best suited for them. During the Contemplative Aging Retreat various contemplative practices are explored as a way to welcome the inner life of self development and spiritual growth as we move into elder-hood. Through contemplative dialogue and sharing common experiences and fears of aging, participants have an opportunity to view aging as a gift. In companionship with fellow elders, the retreat is an opportunity to harvest the wisdom aging brings and to find spiritual ways to navigate its stages.

The retreat begins Friday evening and lasts until the noon meal on Monday. It is conducted by one of the monks with a qualified team. Twenty participants can be accommodated. A limited number of rooms are available at the Abbey for those who may wish to join the monks for their times of prayer. Others will be housed off-campus but meals are provided on campus.

At the end of the retreat the group will decide how it wishes to continue the experience of the retreat. CAC Contemplative Aging Cenobium (where the fruits of the practice are shared) is a community of anointed elders, those who have made the initial retreat, who continue to stay in conversation on the Abbey’s CAC webpage, come together, as often as possible, for ongoing support and lectures on the unique opportunities aging offers.

Mepkin Abbey offers three Contemplative Aging Retreats a year for Novice Elders. The intent of these retreats is to introduce or foster contemplative practices which welcome the inner life of self-development and spiritual growth rather than clinging to past achievements. They offer the companionship of others to help discover the secret of making old age an achievement to savor and a success to enjoy.

Responses from the Inaugural Contemplative Aging Retreat

“What a gift to have shared this time with good people of great life wisdom”
“What joy to spend time with people among whom the longing is so strong.”
“Committed and empowered to be a witness to a contemplative understanding of aging in whatever way is needed.”
“Graced. Challenged. Focused.”
“A sacred moment, cleansed, empowered, determined. May I be faithful.”
“Called, consecrated, pilgriming toward you, O God, awake, grateful, companioning aging others on the Way.”
“Blessed, embraced, empowered, sent forth to find and share God in all things and all things in God”

Next Contemplative Aging Retreats:

June 7 – 10, 2013 and October 4 – 7, 2013
Retreats begin Friday and end at Noon on Monday.

For more information contact Fr. Guerric Heckel, ocso at
Download Information & Registration Form

Advanced Contemplative Aging Retreats for Anointed Elders will be announced at a later date.