" The Church needs your energies, your ideas, your enthusiasm, 
to make the Gospel of Life penetrate the fabric of society ." 
                                                                        Pope John Paul ll
Vocations come in all sizes and colors. Even monastic vocations exhibit considerable variety. If you are not familiar with the latter, you might search the web under "monasteries." Some monasteries run schools, colleges, seminaries and/or serve a parish. Others, like Mt. Saviour, lead a simple life style with no outside apostolates.

If you are interested in finding out more about a possible vocation at Mt. Saviour, we strongly recommend that you visit the monastery for a week if possible.

Even if you are not yet sure what form of life you are being called to, a few days in a monastic setting may be a big help in getting in touch with yourself. The monks' simple life-style is centered on Christ who leads us to the Father through the gift of His Spirit. With its rural, wooded setting and a pace of life with its strong moments of the Mass and the chanting of the Divine Office Mt. Saviour Monastery provides a place of calm and prayer that is especially conducive to reflection.
" Truly as we advance in this way of life and faith, our hearts open wide, 
and we run with unspeakable sweetness of love 
on the path of God's commandments. " 
                                                                       The Rule of St. Benedict, Prologue
Everyone helps out with the chores (washing dishes, cleaning the monastery and so on) and takes up in turn the duties connected with the Mass and the Hours: bell-ringer, reader, and the like. The daily maintenance of the facilities and grounds of the monastery is a common responsibility, though one or two monks take on the special task of servicing the guest houses.

All such work is secondary to a common life of praying and working together, and in that context the communal prayer, the chanting of the Office, that Benedict calls "The work of God," has a special place. So we space these hours out in a traditional way, rather than grouping or combining them to allow time for other work (as the more active monasteries must).

Study and lectio divina are perhaps next in value for us. But the monks in fact engage in a variety of jobs, developing their own skills and preferences: take care of the farm and sheep, the orchard, the business office, maintaining the buildings and vehicles, developing and cataloguing the library, and so on. We have always had monks who developed their talents in music and the arts and crafts: painting , ceramics, book-binding. Because of our openness to guests, monks are often called upon for formal or informal conferences with individuals or groups of guests.
"Listen, O my son, to the precepts of the Master, and incline 
the ear of your heart; willingly receive and faithfully fulfill 
the admonition of your loving father." 
                                          The beginning of the Prologue to the Rule of St. Benedict
Vocations are a very individual affair, so requirements cannot be set out exactly - hence the variation in time for observers and postulants. But a few general things may be helpful.

  1. St, Benedict sets out the first requirement: "The concern must be whether the novice truly seeks God and whether he shows eagerness for the Work of God, for obedience and for trials." The Rule of St. Benedict, ch. 58
  2. Candidates should be Roman Catholics between 24-50 years of age though we do make exceptions. A person needs good physical and mental health and we prefer he has completed college and/or worked long enough to acquire a certain degree of confidence and self-knowledge.
  3. Candidates should have no outstanding financial or social obligations (e.g., to parents, spouses or children).
  4. It is a misunderstanding to think that a "contemplative" life is a solitary one. Candidates should be willing and able to live in community.
  5. Addiction to alcohol, smoking or drugs is not suitable.
  6. Candidates should prepare a brief autobiography to be given to the Prior.
  7. Dental and medical examinations are required and may include a psychological evaluation.
" Seeking his workman in a multitude of people, the Lord 
calls out to him and lifts his voice again: Is there anyone 
here who yearns for life and desires to see good days . " 
                                                                       Rule of St. Benedict, Prologue 14-15
The stages in becoming a monk are traditional in Benedictine communities, with only slight variations in terminology and timing.

An observer spends a month to six weeks "looking over" the community, attending the Hours, helping with the chores and the like. Initally, he stays in the men's guest house, but in a few days he moves into the cloister. Usually, one asks for observer status after having visited the monastery a few times. But persons coming from a distance may indicate their desire to be an observer without that.

A postulant is someone the monastic community recognizes as a possible candidate. Postulants live in the community (sit in choir) and take a fuller part in the community life. The length of postulancy varies, usually from six to eighteen months.

Given the mutual agreement of the candidate and the community, the Church requires a canonical novitiate of one year. The novice wears the Benedictine scapular, sits in the choir and participates fully in the community life.

Simple Profession
After completion of the novitiate, the candidate may then make a simple profession, consisting of three-year vows. He is then a full-fledged but "junior member" of the community. These temporary vows may be repeated.

Solemn Profession
To continue as a member of the community, the monk must make a permanent commitment. "So that, never departing from his guidance, but perservering in his teaching in the monastery until death, we may by patience participate in the passion of Christ; that we may deserve also to be partakers of his kingdom." (Conclusion to the Prologue of the Rule of St. Benedict)

As the "elders" of the community, the solemnly professed monks are the voting members of the monastery and serve as advisors to the prior or abbot.

Since ours is not an "active" monastery, there is not a great need to have many of the monks ordained as priests. Our primary vocation is to be monks. We can arrange for priestly studies and ordination for brothers as the occasion arises.
231 Monastery  Rd. 
Pine City NY 14871