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News from Christ in the Desert:
Current Road Conditions to the Monastery
Road update 11/25/2014

The road leading to the Monastery, Forest Service Road 151 is dry. Four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended to traverse the road.

Monks' Annual Retreat: November 19 - 24
Posted 11/25/14

This past week our monastic community has been privileged to have Father Simeon Leiva-Merikakis, OCSO, conduct our annual retreat. Father Simeon is a monk and priest of Saint Joseph Trappist Abbey, Spencer, Massachusetts.
As a time of greater silence, solitude and prayer and the Guesthouse closed, the retreat is a special time each year for the monks. The retreat master offered us two conferences per day as well as preached at daily Mass, which included the Solemnity of Christ the King.
The focus and emphasis of Father Simeon's excellent conferences was the parable of the wise and foolish virgins found in the Gospel of Saint Matthew, chapter 25. Father Simeon has written a three volume commentary on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, published by Ignatius Press, and a fourth and final volume is in the making.
We greatly enjoyed and benefitted from Fr. Simeon's wit and wisdom during his daily conferences and homilies and his eager participation in our liturgical prayer and life at Christ in the Desert. We have certainly made a new friend in Fr. Simeon. Ad multos annos.

Posted 2/8/2014

Please join us for a weekend or more in the coming months, for a preached retreat given by the monks of Christ in the Desert. Each retreat weekend will cover different topics and approaches to Benedictine Spirituality and its application to people in the world today. Feel welcome to attend more than one weekend, as each retreat will be unique in its content and focus.

The following weekends of preached retreats will be:

December 5 - 7, 2014, with Abbot Philip Lawrence, OSB
January 16 - 18, 2015, with Subprior Benedict McCaffree, OSB
January 30 - February 1, 2015, with Dom Andre Lemieux, OSB
February 27 - March 1, 2015, with Prior Christian Leisy, OSB

The weekend retreat will include Friday arrivals and an opening conference that night. On Saturday there will be three conferences during the day and a final conference on Sunday morning. The retreatants are invited and encouraged to partake in all of the chanted Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours) with the monks in church, daily Mass and time of adoration, and the possibility of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance) on Saturday afternoon.

Silence and recollection will be the norm during the retreat, with time for personal prayer and solitude in the spectacular setting of the Monastery of Christ in the Desert.

Space is limited, so sign up early, using our online reservation procedure on the Guesthouse section of our website:

The retreats are open to men and women, coming as individuals, couples or in small groups.

Those who wish to come earlier than the weekend retreat may do so and/or stay on after the retreat. Just reserve a room or rooms for the dates you wish.

In addition to the customary donation for a stay here (see our website), there will be a $75 fee for each retreatant, or $100 for couples coming.

These are NOT directed retreats, where individual retreatants meet each day with a director. Rather, these are preached to a group, with an emphasis on self-direction and active participation in the contemplative life of the monastery itself. Three meals are provided each day, taken in silence.

That In All Things God May Be Glorified - St Benedict (480-547 AD)