monastic: links


Catholic Retreat Centers that I have visited (or hope to visit soon!)

Prince of Peace Abbey, Oceanside, CA
this is my “first monastery,” so it holds a special place in my heart. Unlike most retreat centers which are in remote places, this one is less than 8 minutes off the 5 freeway which makes it very convenient to drop by if driving between Los Angeles and San Diego.

St. Andrew’s Abbey, Valyermo, CA
‘Valyermo’ is the favorite retreat center of many friends in Southern California. Also, the best free resource I know for learning how to lead groups in Lectio Divina (holy reading) is written by a monk at this abbey and can be found online here. Also, they sell a distinctive line of ceramic wall hangings (this one of Hildegard of Bingen is in my home).

St. Walburga Abbey, Virginia Dale, CO
Tucked away in a beautiful valley this community of women chants at a higher pitch than at men’s abbeys, and is the most user-friendly place I know to learn how to pray liturgy of the hours.

Presentation Center, Los Gatos, CA
During the first half of 2008 I regularly attended the monthly Spirit Site retreat days about Catholic mystics, Fr. Kevin rocks!

Mercy Center, Burlingame, CA
Minutes from the San Francisco airport, the welcoming grounds of this lush compound includes a wonderful oak-tree shaded labyrinth.

Dominican Nuns, Menlo Park, CA
Less than a mile from the Presbyterian church I attended several times a week for much of my life, it took living on the other side of the country (see next entry) for me to search out this quiet prayer sanctuary. Although guests are always welcome for the daily office of prayers, the closest overnight retreat accommodations are across the road, here.

Dominican Nuns, North Guilford, CT
While living in Connecticut I dropped in for their prayer services as often as possible.

Christ in the Desert, Abiquiu, NM
Located in some of the most beautiful desert landscapes I have ever seen, especially when included with a visit to the nearby Presbyterian conference center Ghost Ranch.

Community of St. John, Lombard, IL

Trappist, Gethsemane, KY

New Camaldoli Hermitage, Big Sur, CA

New Monastic Communities

Community of Jesus, Orleans, MA
Part ecumenical/Benedictine monastery and part 5-star Cape Code Bed and Breakfast (plus a world-class marching band), this place defies description and is well-worth visiting if you are in the area.

Jesus People USA, Chicago, IL
In addition to hosting the Cornerstone Festival each summer, the hundreds of people who compose this eclectic group form a beloved community living together in a huge building amidst the thick of urban Chicagoland.

Potter Street Community, Philadelphia, PA
Shane Claiborne, Jesus for President, and The Irresistible Revolution, enough said.

Nazareth House, Raleigh, NC
Led by Roberta Mothershead and Scott Bass, this community offers hospitality to family and friends of those on death row, along with various actions to educate on and protest the death penalty.

Community of Communities

This website is designed to give exposure to the growing number of intentional Christian communities scattered across the land.