In 1949, Porter R. Chandler offered a 570-acre plot of land, known as old Harris Farm, to Dom James Fox of the Abbey of Gethsemane, to bring a monastery to the Genesee Valley. The farmhouse which had been abandoned as a human dwelling was used as a chicken coop. Once the brothers had shoveled the chicken droppings out of the attic of the house and they transformed it into the sleeping quarters for the monks and called it “Bethlehem”.
Bethlehem Retreat House is a short walk down the road from the Abbey along a wide and well-kept path. Bethlehem's first floor includes the speaking room, a library, a reading room, the kitchen and refectory (dining room), bathrooms with showers. Four rooms on the main floor have half-baths. One room has a full bath. Each bedroom includes a bed, a desk, and two chairs. In total, there are 16 rooms each with 1 bed in the building.
Bethlehem's address is 3099 River Road.
Built around 1823 by Moses Hayden (US House of Representatives 1823-1827), Bethany House is located on the northern tip of the Abbey’s land. Surrounded by a spacious, shaded yard it is a stunning cobblestone, Greek Revival home.
The house has a large fully-equipped kitchen, dining room, two spacious living rooms, one bedroom with a half-bath, as well as a first-floor sun porch. The second floor contains five bedrooms with 15 single beds and four bathrooms. The third floor has two rooms and six beds. The total number of beds in the house is 22.
Bethany address is 3016 River Road
Nazareth House is a two-story cobblestone house covered with cedar siding which offers a breathtaking view of the eastern slope of the Genesee Valley.
It once served as the headquarters of the National Guard 101st Cavalry Troop, now located in Geneseo. Sections of the grounds along Salt Creek were once used as a rifle range by the troop.
Purchased in June of 1951, Nazareth became the abbey’s first guesthouse.
Nazareth House has two separate units. The downstairs unit has 12 beds. The upstairs unit has 4 beds.
Nazareth address is 3174 River Road.
Out of consideration for those guests who may suffer from allergies, no pets are allowed in any of our guest houses.
The retreat houses are smoke-free areas. Please, no smoking in our facilities.
The Abbey is a religious house and is unable to accommodate bed and breakfast, half-board, or tourist guests. It is not our intention to provide local lodging for overnight stays or other activities that might be better accommodated at other facilities in the area.
Please bring your cell phone because there is no phone service in either of the houses.
A retreat may be scheduled for weekday stays: Monday (arrival after 3 PM) to Friday (departure by 9 AM); or weekend stays: Friday (arrival after 3 PM) to Sunday (departure time at your discretion).
Keys to the assigned guesthouse will be found on the kitchen table when you arrive and should be left there when you depart.
We ask that you leave the house in good order. Please report damages or maintenance issues that arose during your stay.
The suggested donation is $75 per night.
Priests wishing to concelebrate during their retreat must present LETTERS OF GOOD STANDING from their ordinary.
Please let us know if you need to cancel your retreat. The deposit can be transferred to a different date.