Based on directives from the New York State Department of Health, as well as advice from medical professionals, we have taken the following actions to help protect the monks and the public during the COVID-19 pandemic:
We want to assure everyone that you will be in our daily prayers during this difficult time.
Abbey Retreats is a ministry of The Abbey of the Genesee, a Roman Catholic community of contemplative monks belonging to the world-wide Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, more commonly known as Trappists. Our lives are dedicated to seeking union with God, through Jesus Christ, in a community of brothers.
We welcome people of all faiths to our retreat houses so that they may come away and rest awhile in the Lord. We encourage you to put the world behind you and immerse yourself in the quiet beauty of the landscape. Ours is a sacred space where people can seek God in solitude and stillness.
In Chapter 53 of his Rule, St Benedict has very clear instructions to monks: "All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ." The Constitutions of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance say "By generous hospitality they share with their fellow pilgrims the peace and hope which Christ has freely given" Keeping his words always in mind, I invite you on behalf of the brothers of the Abbey of the Genesee, to visit the abbey for your retreat.
As Cistercian monks, prayer is central to our life. In the Abbey Church, the Divine Liturgy is centered on the Psalms. We invite you to join us in our prayer as you seek God during your time with us. In the opening words of his Rule, St Benedict of Nursia (circa 480 – 55 AD) says ‘Listen and attend with the ear of your heart’ May your own heart be opened in the prayer, the silence and the solitude of the abbey to listen to what God is telling you. You will also have the opportunity to meet with a monk-priest for confession and spiritual direction so that you can discern a direction for your own spiritual life.
We are located in the beautiful Genesee Valley with the Genesee river winding its way north through our property. The beauty and the solitude of the place is a gift from God which we wish to share with others. Our world needs oases that speak of peace and our hope is that the monastery can be that place of respite and peace for you. Our world needs places of hope today and it is my prayer that you may experience hope and joy and peace here at the Abbey.
We welcome you in Christ,
Dom Gerard D'Souza, OCSO
If you’re looking to step away from the routine and the noise of the daily grind and enter into silence, the rhythm of a monastery and nearness to God, I invite you to further explore these pages. You’ll see opportunities to make reservations for individual or group retreats for as short as a night or two, or for up to 10 days.
Our individual retreat house, Bethlehem, is a silent house and has 16 individual rooms. Our group retreat houses are perfect for families, groups of friends, as well as church staffs, campus ministry and other groups.
The spirit of all the retreat houses is touched by the life of the monks here in community. People near and far, young and old, those who have been here dozens of time and those here for their first time, come away from this place refreshed.
I look forward to meeting you during your stay.
Mike Sauter, Retreat House Manager