New Melleray Contemplative Experience – 2019
The New Melleray Contemplative Experience is a program offered to men interested to experience immersion in the monastic way of life as lived by the Trappists of New Melleray Abbey. This two week participation in the life of the monks is offered once a year and this year will host four men. Mark, Daniel, Sean, and Charles will pray, study work, eat, and get better acquainted with the monks. During the course of their stay, the men will be offered conferences on topics such as Scripture, Lectio Divina, Monastic Prayer, The Life of St. Anthony of the Desert, and the Divine Office. These conferences are offered in the morning while afternoons are typically devoted to manual labor in the garden or at tasks in the monastery itself. Our guests will be offered tours of the monastery and monastery grounds as well as given time for silence and solitude. In the evenings, a monk will often join participants for supper and informal sharing. One participant told us he decided to register for the program as a way of prayerfully celebrating his two year anniversary of initiation into the Catholic Church. Another seeks to learn what might help him be more comfortable with silence and stillness in his life. The monks appreciate the presence of these men in choir with us and actively assist them with the choir books. The New Melleray Contemplative Experience is open to any interested man who manifests a disposition to enter sincerely into our monastic culture, even if he is not actually a candidate for our life. Some men, however, will experience this program as a first step in their discernment and a confirmation that God is calling them to enter the monastery as a Postulant. For our part, the monks are happy to extend to these men hospitality and an opportunity to expeience what many would consider a different world from that in which most people today live.