An important aspect of our Benedictine charism is hospitality to guests. Since the very beginning of monasticism, even with the desert solitaries, showing hospitality to others, even if they were just fellow monks on a journey, was part and parcel of monastic life because our life is patterned on the Gospel. Jesus’ injunction to welcome the stranger (Matt. 25:35) as if it were he himself is the basis for St. Benedict’s teaching that “all guests who present themselves are to be received as Christ” (RB 53:1). For this purpose, Benedictine monasteries have always had guesthouses where pilgrims could lodge for the night or those seeking closer contact with God could make a short private retreat.
Our monastic guesthouse is an extension of our life of prayer. Anyone, Catholic or non-Catholic, seeking a period of silence, solitude, and prayer is welcome to come make a retreat with us.
- The guesthouse features 18 private rooms; it is managed jointly by us and the monks of St. Mary’s Monastery. The kitchen, with a range, refrigerator and well-stocked pantry, the dining room and sitting room are common to women and men retreatants.
- Guests eat an informal breakfast and evening meal at the guest house; the kitchen is well-stocked with supplies. Women guests usually eat the main midday meal in the nuns’ refectory, male guests eat that meal in the monks’ refectory. We are unable to meet special dietary requirements, but guests are welcome to bring their own food. Please mark it with your name clearly if storing it in the common kitchen.
- Linens and towels are provided.
- Stays at the guest house of one day to a week are usual. We do not require payment from our guests for their stay in the guesthouse, but we gladly accept any offering a guest may wish to make to assist us in the upkeep of the house.
- We are unable to accommodate pets.
- Reservations are required. Please contact the guestmistress at:
St. Scholastica Priory
271 North Main St.
Petersham, MA 01366
For men's reservations, please contact St. Mary's Guestmaster (or call (978) 724-3550).
All visitors are invited to share in the liturgy and prayer life of the communities.
The following is the typical weekday liturgical schedule for both communities:
- 5:55 AM Vigils (Monks: 5:00 AM)
- 6:30 AM Lauds
- 9:30 AM Mass and Terce
- 1:00 PM Sext
- 3:00 PM None
- 6:00 PM Vespers
- 8:00 PM Compline
On Sundays and Solemnities, the schedule is as follows:
- 6:10 AM Vigils (Monks: 5:00 AM)
- 6:50 AM Lauds
- 10:00 AM Mass and Terce
- 12:15 PM Sext
- 1:30 PM None
- 6:00 PM Vespers, Adoration and Benediction
- 8:00 PM Compline
The Chapel opens ten minutes before Vigils and is locked after Compline. Guests are welcome to visit the chapel whenever it is open.