Silence will unite you to God...In the beginning we have to force ourselves to be silent. But then from our very silence is born something that draws us into deeper silence. May God give you an experience of this ‘something’ that is born of silence.
Isaac of Nineveh
7th Century Syrian Monk
Weekend/Week Self-directed Retreat
Why come to a monastery on retreat? Most people in our Western culture either don't hear or don't heed the call for spiritual retreat. We're busy. We have commitments. We have demands. We have much to do. And when we do get a break, there are certainly destinations more comfortable, convenient and distracting than a Trappist monastery. There's no swimming pool here. There's no TV. Hopefully, no cell phone. The accommodations are simple. Make no mistake: this is no resort. This is not the place for a vacation. So, why come?
Guests come to New Clairvaux for a variety of reasons. Some are facing questions of discernment. Others are facing questions of healing. Many come to renew or deepen their faith. Some come from curiosity. Others simple don't know why they came. Regardless of the reasaons, your invitation is actually quite clear: you are invited to listen. You are invited to a deep inner quiet and a profound active attention to God's presence and voice. This quiet and attention form the heart of a self-directed retreat.
For those accustomed to directed retreats organized around specific topics and predetermined daily schedules, the self-directed retreat can be a bit disconcerting. "What am I to do? How do I spend my time?" are questions sometimes asked by those experiencing it for the first time. This discomfort is understandable and the questions are worthy of reflection.
Guided by the light of the Divine inside of you, you may be drawn to read a specific book in the library, or write your thoughts and feelings in a journal, or talk with a monk or friend you happened to meet. Perhaps you will be drawn to walk through the orchards or take a well-needed nap. You may simply feel the call to sit in attentive silence. Whatever opening may occur for you, know it is not an accident. Regardless of why you came here, your silence and your deep listening will allow you to hear God's voice in a new way. As the Psalms challenge us: Be still and know that I am God (Ps. 46:10).
Self directed retreats are available weekdays Monday afternoon through Friday morning or weekends Friday afternoon through Monday morning throughout the year.
Day of Reflection Retreat
Day of Reflection retreatants register in advance to spend a day on retreat at the abbey. If you wish to spend a day of reflection at the monastery, please call (530) 839-2434 to make arrangements or you may register using the online "Reservations" form (fill-in required information and select option "Day of Reflection" under Retreat Length Preference). Visiting hours: daily 6 am - 8 pm *(Gates locked at 8 pm). For more details, please send your questions firstname.lastname@example.org.
Long Term Guest Program
This program is for men and women desiring a retreat that extends beyond the allotted three to four day retreat experience. The program requires a commitment of at least two full weeks (14 days). Normally it is self-directed but spiritual direction is available upon request. Monastic enclosure at this time only allows male participants to join the monks’ choir if they desire. Arrangement can be made to share in the daily manual labor if the retreatant requests. Those interested may request an application form the program director at email@example.com. We ask that you submit the names and contact information of three references. We will contact them. Physical/mental good health, physical mobility, and financial stability are requisites for approval to the program. The abbot has final approval on all applicants. Only one participant is allowed at a time.
Day Visit to the Monastery
Many individuals who are interested in the monastery often ask if they are welcome to stop by the abbey. If you find yourself in the area, know that you are welcome! You may like to begin by visit with a stop at our Welcome Center to find out more about us. We do ask that you refrain from having picnics on the property so as not to disturb the contemplative atmosphere of the grounds.
Please NOTE: The Abbey Church will be locked in the morning on Monday-Saturday, except for prayer services. Guests and retreatants are welcome to attend prayers held throughout the day (for more information see prayer schedule). If you wish to enter the church for any reason besides prayer, it is open for self-guided tours Monday-Saturday from 2:30pm-5:00pm. ***The Church is closed all day Sunday, besides mass prayer at 10:30am which is open to all.
During your visit we encourage you to stop by the following key places:
Welcome Center & Bookstore/Gift shop (Open daily 9:30 - 4:15pm); Koi pond & St. Cecilia's Chapel (located behind the Welcome Center)
Wine Tasting Room (Open daily 11:00 am - 5:00 pm): For more information visit www.newclairvauxvineyard.com
Abbey Church: Day visitors are welcome to attend Mass and Divine Office services at times as listed on the homepage (Note: Due to early hour Vigils is available for overnight retreatants only)
On I-5: do not take South Street in Orland, but continue north to South Avenue. Take the South Ave. exit at Corning. Drive about ten miles on South Ave. and, immediately after the second railroad track, turn left onto Rowles Rd. Then take the second left onto 7th St., drive back over the train tracks and follow the road past the large white cross. Drive through the gate on your left and follow signs around the vineyard road, or park in front of the wooden gates and pass through walking gate on the right to the Welcome Center.
On Hwy. 99: take Vina Road to 7th St., drive over the train tracks and follow the road past the large white cross, continue around the bend then drive through the gate on your left and follow signs around the vineyard road, Or park in front of the wooden gates and pass through walking gate on the right to the Welcome Center.
Public Transportation: There is no public transportation to the Abbey, but we can provide transportation to and from the Greyhound bus/ Amtrak station in Chico (about 30 min. from the monastery).