Truly Seeking God
When Saint Benedict, in his Rule for Monasteries, reviews the qualities needed in a man who comes to be a monk, he would have us examine, before all else, whether the candidate is truly seeking God (Ch. 58). While this may seem self-evident, it needs to be said clearly and unambiguously. One comes to be a monk because God has become, or is becoming, the one and only desire of one’s heart.
The Face of Christ
For a Benedictine, this search for God focuses on the adorable Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ or, if you will, on His Face, for Jesus Christ is the Human Face of God. For a Benedictine Monk of Perpetual Adoration, this same search leads to the Sacred Host, where the veiled Face of Christ, concealed in the tabernacle or exposed to our gaze in the monstrance, is turned toward him, revealing the infinite mercy and loving friendship of His Sacred Heart.
In the Here & Now
At Silverstream Priory you will find a monastery in growth. The challenges of a growing monastery require not only that a man truly seek God, but also that he be willing to seek Him in the midst of something that is still being built. Monastic life, whether in a relatively new monastery or in an older one, always includes endless opportunities for self-sacrifice. Our search for God unfolds in the humble reality of what is here and now. We do not lose sight of what may develop later on, in God’s good time, but He comes to meet us in the real.
Silverstream can become home to a monastic family of about thirty members. A diversity of talents and aptitudes are welcome and useful: manual, intellectual, artistic, and technological. If you come to us, be prepared to stretch and be stretched. Monastic obedience often allows a man to discover and develop gifts that he never knew he had.
For some of us, there are days when our life seems like a series of interruptions. There are often people at the door, and Saint Benedict says that they must be welcomed as Christ Himself (Holy Rule, Ch. 53). Sometimes things go wrong. We need the flexibility to receive all unforeseen demands on time and energy as coming from the hands of our loving Father in heaven. Readiness to adapt is integral to the Benedictine vision of things.
Confidence in the Love of Christ
From our limited perspectives, our spiritual and vocational journeys do not always appear to flow smoothly. There can be bumps in our road, detours, or wrong turns. For all of this, we can still say with complete confidence, ‘that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, nor height nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Romans 8:38-39).
Where Do You Fit In?
Experience has shown that after one’s mid-thirties, it is difficult to adapt to monastic life, to submit to the process by which one yields to the demands of life ‘under a Rule and an Abbot’ (Holy Rule, Ch. 1). Similarly, men with a previous experience of religious life can find it hard to embrace a new experience with the freshness, sense of wonderment, and discovery that should characterise those taking their first steps in a monastery. If a man brings with him a cheerful, flexible disposition, he will do well. If, on the other hand, he is rigid and incapable of adapting himself as is necessary in order to prepare to vow conversion of life, he will not thrive. It goes without saying that anyone with a disposition that is chronically critical, judgmental, or arrogant is unfit for monastic life.
Guests & Friends
We cherish our silence and enclosure (separation from the outside world); at the same time, our Gatehouse is a point of welcome for all. We also offer a place of silence and retreat for clergy, religious, and laymen considering a monastic vocation. Guests attend the Divine Office and the Conventual Mass; they also participate in our daily adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
You can read about some of the characteristic elements of Benedictine life at Silverstream Priory below. If, after reading, you want to get to know us first hand, please contact us. If you have read this far, you may want to continue!
between 18 and 35 years of age,
successful completion of a course of study or mastery of a manual skill,
unmarried and living a chaste life,
not belonging to another Religious Institute,
free of debt,
not trying to evade the challenges and responsibilities of life in the world,
without a criminal record,
free of incurable or contagious diseases,
not responsible for the support of aged parents,
free of addictions to tobacco, alcohol, or stimulants.
You must be able to present:
letters of recommendation, including from your Parish Priest or Chaplain,
proof of your Baptism and Confirmation,
attestation of studies completed and work experience,
complete medical report,
personal legal documents.
When entering the monastery, postulants must have funds sufficient to cover any extraordinary expenses during the postulancy or to pay their travel expenses should they be dismissed or freely choose to depart.
Prospective candidates can contact the Father Master of Novices.
Note: we recommend that women interested in a similar way of life visit this site.
Timeframe of monastic formation:
Postulancy – 2 to 6 months
Novitiate – 18 months
Simple Vows – 3 years, followed by
Solemn Vows and Monastic Consecration