Seeking God at this place of New Clairvaux, we are a community of Cistercian monks living the Rule of Saint Benedict. We witness God's love for the world according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by a life of prayer, labor, and sustainable stewardship of our resources in a simplicity and openness to the signs of the times. Our monastery welcomes all people in the spirit of hospitality, and engages others in collaborative relationships.

This time we are grateful to present a special guest blogger, Stephen, who was on a Long Term Guest retreat with us earlier this year, sharing his experience at New Clairvaux:

My Retreat Experience

Fr. Paul Mark contributes a blog reflection on the “Rich Young Man” of Matt. 19:16-30.  The question is: from the perspective of a monk, what makes for true happiness?

“Do you remember the comic book adventures of Richie Rich, the poor little rich boy?  He had “everything” but always lost out on the best things in life, hence he was a poor rich boy.

Br. Peter Damian shares on why we celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

We share Br. Andrew’s wisdom…


I love sharing my life in Christ with other like-minded mean.  I love spending time in silence and solitude in my cell reading spiritual books and praying.  I love the Mass and praying the Divine Office with the other monks.  I love taking walks around the beautiful property with the tall trees and the creek running through and the wildlife.  I love the times of community sharing and the charity we exhibit.  I also love the generous hospitality shown to our guests.

Our Fr. Thomas Davis reflects for us on the question:  “What do you do at those times when prayer is your vocation, but you don’t feel like praying?”

When this question was proposed to me, two thoughts came immediately to mind. Persons, who are in a happy and stable marriage, must experience feelings of not wanting to be married.  What do they do? The other thought was: what is prayer?

A following passage is from a Trappist monk of Gethsamane Abbey, it has the power to change our world...

KINDNESS        Of all the apostolates open to all of us … the most effective, the most far-reaching, the most consoling is kindness.

Kindness is one of God's best gifts to the world. It drives gloom and darkness from souls.

It puts hope into fainting hearts. It sweetens sorrow. It lessens pain. It discovers unsuspected beauties of human character.

Elected Silence,

Sing to me

And beat upon my whorled ear

Pipe me to pastures still and be

The music that I care to hear.                                                      

                           --Gerald Manley Hopkins


Wow, it's been nearly ten years since I joined the monastery.  I look back, trying to remember those first few days...not much comes to mind.  I vaguely remember the distinct country smell of the place.  That's about it.  But this doesn't surprise me; I don't have a stellar recollection, in general (my fellow community members will agree).  I guess, in that sense, I was made for monastic life.  St.

The first thing that is often overlooked is that God really, really loves His Holy Angels!  We think of them as His messengers and servants and that is true, but like us they also are His children and He knows and loves each one in special unique way.  That is what makes it so amazing that He sends them to be our helpers and guardians: it shows how much He loves us to send his precious ones and it shows us how much He loves them that He sends them on a mission so close to His Heart.

We just finished celebrating the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord Jesus into Heaven.  We celebrate this special day here at the Abbey with all the ‘bells and whistles’ as they say: copious incense, special hymns and rubrics, day off from ordinary work, etc.  Why so?