Monastic Immersion Program: Ora et Labora
Goal of Ora et Labora
For those who embrace it, the monastic tradition provides the necessary wisdom to live good and fruitful lives. This wisdom is deeply spiritual and very practical, supplying those of us who strive to acquire it with spiritual tools that support our growth and illumine our path in our search for God. We want to share these precious tools with you.
Many Catholics, even though they know the basics of our faith, have trouble relating what they believe to their concrete lives on a daily basis, particularly at the time of making decisions, planning their lives, and prioritizing activities. Our Christian faith should give us a sense of meaning and direction, but for this to happen, our faith needs to be strong, to allow us to walk with peace and joy against the current of the negative trends present in our contemporary culture.
Devoting a month or more to living deeply and intentionally the essential elements of our Catholic faith in a monastic setting can be an excellent way of introducing new habits that will sustain you through your whole life and give you new light and strength to get unstuck and move forward with in confidence.
Single Catholic women from 18 to 45 years of age in good physical and psychological health may apply to this program. Inquiries should be sent to Sr Maria at email@example.com. She will give you more information about the program. Please include your name and age, your reasons for interest in the program, and a brief autobiography. If you are accepted, we will schedule a visit for a minimum of one month and a maximum of three and provide the concrete details of your stay.
There is no cost for participating in the program as the participants will take part in the community work.
Daily Schedule of Work and Prayer
The participants will follow most of the monastic schedule of work and prayer which is structured around the Liturgy of the Hours.
Breakfast some time before Lauds
Time for personal prayer
Thanksgiving & Terce
Work until 11:00 Sext 11:40
1:30 None and work until 3:45
Supper some time between 4:00 and 5:00
5:30 Vespers & Adoration
An atmosphere of silence during work and other activities will promote an attitude of personal prayer and reflection, and the interiorization of the monastic practices and their application to your way of life. There will be times for learning and sharing about the most important practices of our monastic life and Catholic faith. Spiritual accompaniment will be provided to help you make the best of your monastic experience and become more aware of the Lord’s blessings in your life and how to respond to them.
Work is a very important ingredient of the monastic schedule. It is not only a way of supporting ourselves and helping those in need, but a time during which we continue reflecting on the Word of God, grow in self-knowledge, and praise God through our bodies and the talents he has given us. Even though Ora et Labora means prayer and work, these are not two separate realities. Experiencing monastic work can help you to become more aware of God’s presence as you perform any of your daily tasks, and teach you the great benefits of a balanced life style where body, mind and spirit are integrated.
Monastic work is typically simple, so that the mind can remain free to continue meditating and praising God. During your stay, you will help the sisters in their work outdoors, with our cheese packaging, and other maintenance tasks.
The monastic tradition emphasizes the importance of community life as a school where we learn to love and serve God and neighbor, and also to accept ourselves as we are. It is in this kind of atmosphere that we can best experience the beauty and richness of our faith, the life in abundance that Christ came to bring us.