The Role of the Guestmaster

The Role of the Guestmaster

“In the greeting of all guest, whether arriving or departing, let all humility be shown. Let the head be bowed or the whole body prostrated on the ground in adoration of Christ, who indeed is received in their persons.” (Rule of St. Benedict, Ch. 53)

An oriental saying "whoever cross the threshold is a guest.”  It means that our guest house is opened to everyone of all denominations and we welcome everyone with warmth and respect. Our Mission statement states: our monastery welcomes all people in a spirit of hospitality and thus hospitality is our core values and beliefs.

For guests visiting the monastery for the first time the first impression is paramount, as they are not aware of our regulations and unfamiliar with the place. As such a monk’s presence to greet them is important. For regulars they are always happy to see the familiar face of the guest master and staff. Hospitality includes the proper care and maintenance of the environment, warmth and cleanliness of the welcome center and guest rooms. All these tasks are performed with great care, ability and conscientiously by our porter, housekeeper and groundkeeper.

Our gift shop sells a good selection of books, marmalade and honey and hand made rosary from our sisters’ monastery as well as our New Clairvaux souvenir t-shirts. The St. Luke’s dining hall is to be stocked daily with food, drinks and items for breakfast and that our cooks prepare sumptuous noon meals and supper. In the church the psalters and mass books have to be carefully set up for the guests to participate in the divine office and mass.

Challenges faced by in our guest house are frequent late cancellations and no shows of guests and leaving no time to offer the rooms to others who have enquired to come for their retreat. Some of our guests find it difficult to follow our regulations for no alcohol in dining room, not bringing in their pets or observing the proper meal times and we often have to remind guests to be mindful.

We appreciate our guests and never seem to have any major problems as the guests understand the monastic way of life and many leave here feeling peaceful and grateful for a chance to enjoy our hospitality and the spiritual environment.

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Prayer

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.

Hospitality

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.