Frequently Asked Questions
Community & Recreation

 
 

 
 

 

 

 

Do monks need to be introverted?

No. Like anyone else, and any other community, there are many personalities within a monastery, and each personality brings its own appreciated strengths.

 

Do you have to be silent all the time?

Benedictine monks do not make a vow of silence. Within the cloister however, silence is appreciated. Due to the contemplative nature of the Benedictine tradition, monks tend towards silence and a calm professional demeanor, supporting the misconception of a vow of silence. Additionally, within the cloister, after evening prayer silence is observed until Morning Prayer the next day.

 

Can I have friends outside of the monastery?

Yes. However, throughout novitiate, monks are not permitted off campus, but may receive guests for short periods outside of the cloister. After novitiate though, monks are given permission to leave campus to visit friends and family.

 

Can I play sports?

Yes. As noted above, novice monks are not permitted off campus. Consequently, joining teams during novitiate is limited and often denied.

 

Can I study martial arts?

Yes. As noted above, novice monks are not permitted off campus. Consequently, joining teams during novitiate is limited and often denied.

 

Do monks socialize? 

Yes. Within the monastery and around campus we are free to socialize. Additionally, permission is required to leave campus for the day or evening, and this is not uncommon.

 

What do monks do for fun?

Anything anyone else may do for fun, generally speaking. The commitment to monastic life does not alienate the monk from the interests anyone else may enjoy. However, monks should pay greater attention to the moral implications of their actions and interests, as well as the relationship these interests have to their vocation and the goals of their spiritual commitment.

 

Can I pursue hobbies?

Yes. Often times, hobbies are encouraged and supported by the community. Not only do they enrich the life of individual monks, but also the monastic community.

 

Can I play a musical instrument?

Yes. Musical talent is well appreciated at Saint John’s. As with hobbies, the monastic community will often support and aid the monk in attaining a greater perfection of their art.