Abbey Retreats

COVID-19 / Coronavirus Advisory

To help reduce the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, we respectfully require:

Guests who have knowingly been exposed to, or lived with, someone who has had COVID-19 or who have traveled outside the country, within 14 days prior to a retreat may not stay at an Abbey guesthouse. You can apply your deposit to a future retreat.

If you are showing any signs of illness that could be covid-19 related please contact us to reschedule your retreat. If you develop symptoms while here, notify us and return home. You can apply your deposit to a future retreat.

If any guest or employee contracts COVID-19, the Abbey will inform all who were here within 14 days of that individual. While not required in the retreat houses, all visitors to the abbey are required to wear masks to safeguard the health of the brothers.


A welcome from the Abbot

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

Abbey of the Genesee Community

A message to all Abbey retreatants

Hospitality is a ministry of The Abbey of the Genesee, a Roman Catholic community of contemplative monks belonging to the worldwide 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.

For those who wish a longer immersion in the monastic atmosphere of silence and prayer, we offer the possibility of private retreats in our three guesthouses for either a weekend (Friday thru Sunday) or a week (Monday thru Friday). Each house offers an ideal quiet space for uninterrupted reflection, prayer, planning, or other agenda. The suggested arrival time is between 3:00 and 5:00 PM

Retreatants at the abbey prepare their own meals. Bed linens and towels are provided. Retreatants should bring their toiletries: soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.

Retreats are undirected. All retreatants are welcomed to join the monastic community for liturgy.

Retreatants will find a place of peace. The abbey is surrounded by the awe-inspiring beauty of nature in the picturesque and historic Genesee River Valley. The green and silent region of the valley had once been the Eden of the Seneca Indians who named the river and its valley "Genesee", which meant "The Pleasant Banks".

The Genesee Valley Greenway, a trail from the Southern Tier to Rochester, runs through the property and offers a beautiful place to walk along the river, through woods, and beside farm fields.

Mike Sauter Retreat House Manager