Special Opportunity: Mepkin Abbey Offering Contemplative Eldering Retreat to Our Community

Those interested in contemplative living are invited to consider joining our “Contemplative Eldering” retreat at Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner, SC shortly after Easter next year.

The retreat starts at the monastery just outside Charleston, SC on Monday, April 29, 2024, and concludes on Friday, May 3, 2024.  With expected travel by car, attendees would be best to plan for departure from New Jersey on April 28, with return on May 4.

The Retreat Center at Mepkin Abbey has made its entire set of rooms in its Retreat Center available for our parish community and partners who will participate in the retreat.  As of September 8, we still have two rooms available.  All others have either a tentative or firm commitment behind them.

In the mid- to late fall, stay tuned for an initial preparation and orientation meeting among participants, and, if we are still not at 100% capacity, that meeting can also include prospective attendees.

St. Joseph Catholic Community has had a Contemplative Elders group for more than a year, and this retreat is seen as a culminating and even commissioning event for the Elders group.  For those coming to the elders theme for the first time, it can be viewed as an outstanding opportunity to incorporate contemplative wisdom into your Christian practice, particularly at this senior point in life.

We don’t have a hard age requirement, but the retreat will be most beneficial to those who at least have 50 or 55 years of living already.  The retreat will include a mix of presentations, rituals and opportunities to participate in the daily prayer life of the monks.

Mepkin Abbey is one of 15 U.S. monasteries founded in the Cistercian tradition of strict observance of their reformed Benedictine way of life.  Silence is a hallmark of these communities.  Our retreat participants will overlap partially with the life and rhythm of the monks, but the retreat itself will include conversations, presentations and discussion among ourselves and the monk and guest speakers who will guide us.

Because we are still finalizing details of travel and lodging pre- and post-retreat, we can’t offer a cost amount yet. But we can assure prospective participants that inability to pay will not impede a person from participating.  We will subsidize those for whom costs may be excessive.


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