Dates for 2017: December 17 – 25
Christmas Novena is a period of nine days when vocation visitors are welcomed into the monastic preparation and celebration of Christmas. This time preceding and leading through Christmas, in a unique way, reveals the beauty of the Benedictine monastic tradition. Participants on this retreat will experience in a new way the role of community in the Catholic celebration of Christmas: the strengthening stability of men committed to Christ; the humbling and enlightening avenues found through truly listening in obedience; and the powerful hope of continued conversion to fuller discipleship of Christ.
Short work periods will include cleaning and decorating the Abbey Church for Christmas Mass, helping to prepare the Christmas meal, joining in the practice and performance of the Abbey Choir.
Prayer will follow the monastic horarium, including the O antiphons; there will be group lectio divina, with plenty time for personal prayer and reflection. Additionally, we will pray as a group a special Christmas novena, composed by a monk of Saint John’s Abbey. Spiritual direction will also be made available with members of the Abbey community.
The retreat is open to men, interested in beginning or continuing their vocation discernment towards the monastic life, the priesthood, married life, or single life. Participants may attend any number of days within this timeframe. If you have questions or hesitations, please contact Br. Paul-Vincent Niebauer