In Chapter 53 of his Rule St Benedict tells the monks that they are to welcome all those who visit to the monastery as if they were welcoming Christ himself. For over 135 years Mount St Joseph has been a place where the Cistercian monks have welcomed guests and visitors who come to experience the peace and prayer of the monastic environment. We are a community of monks dedicated to seeking God and following the Gospel in prayer and work, while living in community. Our life is focused on the celebration of the liturgy throughout the day, with periods for personal prayer and study combined with work. Whatever your reason for visiting, we hope that you will find here the sense of peace which is the hallmark of monasteries in the Benedictine tradition.
St Benedict reminded his monks that guests to a monastery would never be lacking, and instructed that they were to be welcomed as Christ. And St Cronan, patron of our parish, moved his monastery from its remote location “where neither guests nor the poor can find me” to the Slí Dála, the royal highway, thus founding the town of Roscrea. In this tradition Mount Saint Joseph welcomes visitors. Many people come to visit the church or walk in the grounds.
The original mansion built by the Heaton family has served as the guesthouse for Mount St Joseph Abbey since the early days of the monastery.
The Guesthouse is open for resident guests all year round and offers comfortable accommodation and welcomes people from many varied backgrounds. Some may just want a quiet time to reflect and rest, away from the stress of everyday life, while others may be seeking solace in distress or trying to discern the Lord’s will for them or talk things through with one of the community. The community’s prayer will support them and call down God’s gift of peace on them.
The monks do not usually provide preached retreats though groups who wish to bring their own retreat leader are most welcome. The “preaching” is above all, that of the liturgy in the monastery church. We hope that the alternation of silence and choral prayer, the rhythm of bells, chanting, reading, psalmody throughout the day will enable our guests to taste the silence which blossoms into prayer and the prayer that culminates in silence. This is the special grace of the place – for this is the home of God, and now is the acceptable time. Incidentally our facilities are available for groups such as those interested in Christian meditation, in iconography or for other groups of artists, photographers etc.
Books are available for those who wish to follow Divine Office. Others may prefer to share in the worship by sitting still and letting occasional phrases or words or just a whole experience carry them in peaceful prayer.