QUAERITUR: Traditional monasteries for silent retreats

From a reader:

Do you know of any traditional abbeys or monasteries (specifically ones that offer the Extraordinary form of the Mass) that offer silent retreats?

Can the readership help?

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  1. Ecclesiae Filius says:

    benedictine monks at clear creek OK. :) they’re awesome.

  2. Supertradmum says:

    I can only say for women that the Benedictine Nuns at Ryde at St. Cecilia’s have the Latin Gregorian Chant and the Mass in Latin. I cannot for sure say whether they are now doing the TLM or the NO in Latin, but they do the TLM at times. One can do a silent retreat with or without aid. Write to abbey@stceciliasabbey.org.uk I have been on retreat there myself and it is a fantastic experience.

  3. Supertradmum says:

    Not a monastery, but FSSP parishes give retreats for parishioners, as I have been involved in one in the past. A weekend retreat is not the same as getting away, but spiritually can be renewing. If the reader is near an FSSP parish, he or she could ask about retreats.

  4. Jon says:

    Unfortunately, I know of none on the east coast that offer the TLM. This weekend, however, I’m making a silent retreat with the Maronites up in Petersham, Massachusetts. They’re very good, and akin, I think, to what you’re probably looking for.


  5. Phil_NL says:

    It might in fact be easier to make a list of monastries who are celebrating in the EF (which will probably be a fairly limited list, I guess), and then enquire what the possibilities for a retreat are.

  6. Tradster says:

    The SSPX conducts week-long single-sex silent Ignatian retreats that are wonderful. My wife and I have been to the ones conducted in Ridgefield, CT.

  7. Dr Guinness says:

    I highly recommend the Benedictines at Norcia. Very warm and welcoming men, fantastic facilities, and the surroundings are simply gorgeous. Daily Low Mass with all hours of the Office sung by the monks. Solemn Mass on Feast days and Sundays. Simply divine.

  8. cruckdeschel says:

    Have you considered the Franciscans of the Immaculate? They have a number of locations in America. The website for their friary in Maine, NY has some information about retreats:


    I know they offer both forms of the Mass.

  9. Taylor says:

    Indeed, the Benedictine Abbey in Clear Creek, OK is supposed to be a great place for retreats. I don’t know if they do group retreats, but they do have a guest house for family or women (well, men too), or the men can stay with the monks.


  10. One in Iowa but they do not offer the TLM (maybe they would upon request, I’ve never been there)


  11. RosaMystica says:

    I’ve been to Clear Creek several times. I don’t think they offer guided retreats, but you could schedule confession and do a silent retreat easily on your own. Men may stay (and eat) with the monks, while women would stay in the guest house and must bring their own food. It is a wonderful place.

  12. haribo says:

    St. Mary’s Monastery, also in Petersham, MA, is a little known Benedictine community that does the office and most of the Mass in Latin and Gregorian chant.


    There are two communties on the site, one for men and one for women, and they share the same church for Mass and parts of the Office. MA is much easier to get to for someone on the Eastern Seaboard. I just recently visited them and was very impressed.

  13. Jeremiah says:

    They don’t offer TLM, but The Community of St. John in Princeville, Il are absolutely drowning in orthodox philosophy and theology (after the heart of their patron, John the Evangelist, and his charge our Blessed Mother), and often offer silent retreats, or a “run deep” silent version of various retreats.

  14. Supertradmum says:

    I went on retreat with the nuns there for just a few days and also attended the fantastic presentation from one of the founders. I heartily agree with you that the Community of St. John in Princeville is worth a stay, for women and for men.

  15. Dad of Six says:

    I have attended a number of the silent Spiritual Exercises run by Miles Christi. It is OF, but with Gregorian Chant. They have retreats all over the country, and are as traditional as they come. Check them out at mileschristi.org.

  16. wolfeken says:

    I second the recommendation for the FSSP retreats. Father James Buckley, FSSP, is outstanding. He conducts retreats when the seminary (he is the FSSP’s spiritual director) is on break — usually throughout the summer months.

    His men’s and women’s (separately) retreats are in Nebraska, Maryland, Virginia and Massachusetts (maybe others?). Here is a flier from a June retreat with contact info, perhaps for someone interested in the next one: http://www.fsspolgs.org/ignatian.pdf

  17. robtbrown says:

    wolfeken says:

    I second the recommendation for the FSSP retreats. Father James Buckley, FSSP, is outstanding. He conducts retreats when the seminary (he is the FSSP’s spiritual director) is on break — usually throughout the summer months.

    He is a dear friend of many years. I wouldn’t say he’s the Spiritual Director, but he runs the Spiritual year (first year) in Denton. Juridically, it’s not really a novitiate. If it were, he would be called the Master of Novices.

  18. DIgoe says:

    I concur with many of the others who have suggested Clear Creek. I was actually looking ont heir website just the other day. I have never been there, but know people who have and they enjoyed it. Check it out!

  19. James Joseph says:

    The Trappists an hour or so south of me here in Utah from what I understand are very good.

    There are Roman Rites extraordinary form on Sundays for the public. It is celebrated by one elderly priest whose homily does not dissapoint.

    It is situated atop a mountain valley. There is a wonderful glass-window of Mary the Tree of Life. It makes me think of the psalm of a good woman who like a vine clings to the house yielding grapes.

    My lament is that there is no shop that is run on Sundays. Normally, I try to refrain from conducting business on weekends, but it would be nice to be able to buy Catholic devotional items such as literature and artwork since there is no place else to buy any that I aware of.

    Trying to obtain a Crucifix out here is rather difficult in the God-forsaken land of temporal beauty.

    (This time of year it might be too cold up there for most folks)

  20. Girgadis says:

    The Carmelite Monastery in Philadelphia offers two silent retreats, one during Advent and one during Lent. It just so happens we’re coming upon the Advent retreat on Saturday, December 3 and I know there are still some openings. These are one day retreats, so I’m not sure if that would meet the reader’s needs. Mass is generally offered in the Ordinary Form but it is celebrated ad orientem and mostly in Latin.

  21. asophist says:

    So, do the monks at Clear Creek offer the Traditional Benedictine form of the Mass? Or is it some kind of Novus Ordo in Latin? I can’t find anything on their web site that indicates what they do in that regard. Does anybody here know?

  22. Emilio III says:

    Asophist, as noted in http://www.clearcreekmonks.org/liturgy.html:

    The Liturgy of Mass is celebrated according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The monks also observe the complete Benedictine horarium.

  23. robtbrown says:

    I don’t know of any Benedictine Rite.

  24. Supertradmum says:

    For the Questioner,

    I forgot earlier that Prinknash offers the Tridentine Mass daily and has retreats for men. I have visited there, but not been retreat there. The monks have moved back into their old building as well. As to the Benedictine form of the Mass, I think the commentator above may be referring to the fact that many monasteries add various hours to the Mass and have their own calendars for Benedictine Saints, thereby having different collects, for example. I have been to many Benedictine monasteries for Mass, frequently the mid-day prayers are incorporated, if the Mass is later in the day, or even Lauds, if earlier (and most monasteries still do Vigils, breakfast, and then Lauds). Sometimes the vestments are slightly different as well, especially in England, where some monasteries have re-acquired pre-Reformation vestments, miraculously saved. Most of the time, the difference in vestments has to do with Abbatial vestments, or Benedictine themes in the embroidery.

  25. Matins says:

    This one in New Mexico is excellent: http://christdesert.org/

  26. @Supertradmum

    Thanks for mentioning Prinknash. I was thinking about doing a retreat somewhere next year. Last year I went to Worth which was beautiful but I wanted to try something a bit more traditional. I’ll give them a try.


  27. Saper Vedere says:

    I have been on retreat (both in Ards Capuchin Friary, Co. Donegal, Ireland and in their mother house: St. Joseph’s Abbey, Flavigny, France) several times with the Benedictine monks in Flavigny. They conduct in English the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius for businessmen in 5/6 days. The Mass in the Ordinary Form is always in Latin and ad orientem. The Extraordinary Form is also frequently said during the retreats. The retreat in English is also available in Wales and in Australia.
    Americans have been known to fly in for the retreat in both Ireland and in France.


  28. jmcj says:

    I’ve stayed at both Clear Creek Abbey in OK and San Benedetto in Norcia, Italy. They are both excellent! Clear Creek has daily private low Masses (which the faithful can attend) and conventual high Masses. But don’t go to either of these places in the summer if you’re an American that can’t live without Air Conditioning!

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