Vocations to the Monastic life

Saint Bernard Abbey Simple Vows Saint Benedict's Abbey Saint Vincent Archabbey Newark Abbey Belmont Abbey

When giving indications as how to admit new members to the monastery, St. Benedict himself instructs those responsible for newcomers to "observe if the candidate truly seeks God, if he is eager for the Work of God, obedience and trials" (RB 8,7). One may be surprised to read in the Rule of St. Benedict, "do not grant newcomers an easy entry, but, as the Apostle says, Test the spirits, to see if they are truly of God (1 Jn. 4,1; RB 58,1-2). Here St. Benedict shows his care that the motivation of the candidate be for the sole reason of seeking God above all else and not for reasons that are not in harmony with this fundamental ideal of monastic life.

Since our foundation in 1855 by decree of Pope Pius IX under the patronage of the Holy Guardian Angels, the monks of our monastic congregation have responded to the needs of the Church in a variety of pastoral and educational ministries, but especially by chanting the Divine Office and the celebration of the Eucharist daily. There is a great need for courageous men to lay down their lives in imitation of Christ and humbly follow in the monastic way of life. It is a life of conversion that leads to a deep, abiding peace and communion with God.

If you believe that God may be calling you to the monastic life, we invite you to explore the process of discernment with a Benedictine vocation director near you. To further assist you in your personal discernment, we provide this reading list.