Fr. Placid remembers the day he entered the monastery: "My first day in the monastery was one of activity. I travelled up from Pasadena, CA my home town. It was an eight-hour drive. My triplet brothers James and Joseph drove me up after saying goodbye to my parents and the dog! He sensed something because he ‘hugged’ me with his shoulders, which come up my waist. The trip was eventful, listening to our favorite songs on CDs. Arriving at the monastery, I am shown to my room by my ‘guardian angel’, Br. Rafael. Guardian angel is the name we give for the monk who is to show the newcomer the ropes, watch after him and answer questions. The next day, I am allowed to give my brothers a tour before the 10:30 AM Mass. As they had a long-trip home, my brothers and I say our farewells at the guest house. We hugged goodbye, and then I went to Mass and they packed up and drove back to Pasadena."
Cistercian monastic life gives primary place of chanting the Opus Dei or Divine Office in community as well as personal time spent in sacred reading which fulfill the monk's sacred duty of seeking God.
Cistercian monastic life allows rooms for guests because all guests are to be received as Christ. We never know if we have entertained angels.
Life in Common
Cistercian monastic life is communal: We share all things in common as did the early Christian community so as to live in greater charity and union with Christ.