On Becoming a Monk

Have you ever considered a monastic lifestyle? It takes dedication and a commitment to your community to embark on this journey. Cistercians are often called to a particular Monastery, rather than to a particular Order. Those interested in becoming a monk can inquire at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit through exploration, visits to our grounds and live-in observership.


1. Practicing Catholic, or in RCIA
2. Some college and/or work experience, and/or professional training
3. US citizen or permanent resident
4. Free of debts, long term family obligations, addictive behavior
5. Good physical and emotional health
6. Single, or have received an annulment


1. To familiarize yourself with our Order, we suggest that you visit our regional website, where you would find A Newcomer’s Guide to Trappist Life, Steps to Becoming a Monk, and much information about all our monasteries in the U.S.A. The American Region’s Vocation Website is: www.trappist.org (http://www.trappists.org)

2. What if, after having grown more familiar with our Order, you would like to explore the possibility of a vocation at Holy Spirit Monastery? Then we would invite you to tell us about your faith journey, prayer life, work experience, reason(s) for desiring monastic life, and whatever might help us to know you better. (Via email or letter.)

Should our vocation team agree that the matter deserves exploration, your status would shift from inquirer to candidate.  You would receive an information form together with a medical/contact document, to be sent to us prior to your visit.

3. If the vocation team concludes that it would be good to begin a process of vocational exploration, you would be invited to come and be with us. Prayer and quiet pondering in a silent environment would set the tone of your initial visit.

4. Your time with us would offer an opportunity to live, pray and work with our community, and to meet with members of the vocation team. These visits would help both of us to mutually discern if signs pointed to a continuation of the exploration.

5. If you and the vocation team mutually agree that our monastery might be the direction God is leading you, we would invite you to visit for a minimum of five days.At this time we would ask that you request letters of recommendation from your pastor, a former employer and a good friend. In addition we would ask that you fill out a medical information form

6. If further serious exploration were indicated, we would invite you to make a third visit for a minimum of five days.


We rarely accept candidates younger than 21 because we want to encourage them to have more life experience.
We rarely accept candidates over 45 because of the difficulty experienced  in transitioning from an independent lifestyle into the interdependence, challenges  and limitations of a cloistered environment.

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December 30-January 1 (Weekend)
June 30 – July 2 (Weekend)
These retreats help an inquirer to explore the monastic life together with other like-minded men.


Is the Cistercian Monastic Life for you?
Recommended Readings

Intrigued by the monastic lifestyle? We’ve recommended readings to help you gain a deeper understanding of the community and discernment.


You can learn more about our life at our American Region's website. It has a Newcomer's Guide to Trappist life, Steps to Becoming a Monk or Nun, and much more information about all our Cistercian monasteries in the USA. American Region's Vocation Website: /www.trappists.org/
Our Vocation Director is Br. Elias Marechal vocation@trappist.net (770) 483-8705 (extension 360)

Vocation Retreats Schedule:
November 25-27, 2016
December 30-January 1 (2017)
June 30 – July 2 (2017)

No charge for these retreats.
Age limit for these retreats is 45.
For reservations check