Of course, it is always best to research and prepare before visiting a new place. Like any other place, every monastery has particular expectations and rules. Some expectations are universal, such as polite and respectful behavior to the community and other visitors. Additionally, other expectations have been developed to educate visitor as to the common way of life of the particular community, therefore allowing the visitor to already support and participate meaningfully in the monastic life.
When you visit a monastery, despite how welcoming, open and public some may appear, you are visiting a home. To prepare you for your visit to our home, we have prepared a short checklist.
This should be at the top of your discernment checklist. Discerning your vocation is about responding to, and communicating with God. Be careful not to become too caught up in your own plans...remember the first word of the Rule of Saint Benedict is “listen.” But God seems to rarely say, "You must do this...you must be that..." God has given us freewill, and calls us to exercise that freedom through the Universal Call to Holiness. As Saint Paul teaches us, "Faith without works is dead." (James 2:17) In order to listen to God, you must work at it, you must pray in faith.
Discuss Your Possible Vocation
Speak to friends, spiritual directors, parish priests, monks or sisters to gain a sense of their reaction. Vocations are for the good of the whole Church in service to Christ, so you must look outside yourself as well as within to correctly discern your calling.
Talk to the Vocations Director
Speaking with the vocations director is your first glimpse into the monastic community's life. You may choose to speak to the director before or after applying to visit, but it is mandatory. Not only does it help inform your decision to visit, but it helps inform the monastic community's decision to accept your application. You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at 320-363-2548 between 9am-5pm.
Apply for a First Visit
Visitors staying for an afternoon or day are welcome to stop by, though prior notice is certainly appreciated. However, if you would like to spend the night, weekend or week living within the monastic community you must fill out an application. The application introduces you to the community, and provides the necessary information to determine if your interest in the monastic life at Saint John's is worth continuing to explore at this early stage.
You Should be Familiar with:
- Dress Code
- Guest's Daily Schedule
You Should Bring:
- Appropriate clothing for work, recreation, and prayer.
- Bathroom supplies, soap, shampoo, etc. (towels and linens are provided).
- Sports supplies you may need, such as swim trunks, climbing shoes, racquetball equipment, etc.
- Though you are permitted, we do not encourage bringing laptops or tablets. Remember you are here to experience community life. There is a computer lab and library within the monastery.
Directions to Saint John's Abbey
Saint John's Abbey
31802 County Road 159
Collegeville, MN 56321
The Abbey is located about 15 miles west of St. Cloud in Collegeville, Minnesota, off I-94.
• Take I-94 to Saint John's University exit #156, County Road 159.
• Turn south on County Road 159.
• Go approximately 1 1/2 miles to Saint John's Abbey & University.