Explore a Monastic


The Benedictine vow

Saint Benedict’s invites you to explore a monastic vocation. The Benedictine monk takes a threefold vow of Obedience, Stability, and Conversion of life to the monastic way of life.  Obedience comes from the Latin word for ‘Listen’. The monk vows to listen for the word of God in all the varied aspects of his life.  Stability is unique to monastic communities. It is a promise to stay with the community and always regard it as ‘home’. Conversion to monasticism means to remain  faithful to the monastic way, always focusing on the ways that God is working within us and within the world.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Yes you can — if you are called to be a monk. We would love to help you discover if you have a monastic vocation. But it is not a decision to be made quickly or easily. St Benedict’s Priory is a community of men. There are similar communities of women. The process will be similar for other communities.

The process begins with an inquiry from an interested individual. If you are interested in such a discussion, please contact our our Vocations Director, Br Luc Thuku: luc@stbenedicts.org.za. Please also complete our Introductory questionnaire

Joining a monastery is a process of discernment in which the individual and the community explore together. This process takes several years – it is not a decision to be made quickly or easily. 

Yes, indeed. It is a thorough process of testing the waters – on both sides.  Here is what you can expect in this process:

 It will begin with gathering basic information – we need to know about you, your life experience and education, and other important details. Our Novice Master will encourage you to visit several times, so we can get to know each other better.

When you have come to know us and we have come to know you, we may mutually agree that the next step is appropriate, which is a two-week visit to the priory.  During this visit, you’ll live in our monastic enclosure and participate in our community’s life and work. This step involves discernment from all about how life in a monastic community might be life-giving to you and how you might be life-giving to the community. At the end of this discernment, we will mutually discern if an invitation to enter is in order.

If we discern together that an invitation to enter is the right step, you may then proceed to the entry process. 




If we discern together that an invitation to enter is the right step, you may then proceed to the entry
process. You’ll explore monastic vocation during the following stages:

  1. After we invite you to apply for admission, you’ll complete a formal application to our novitiate.
  2. Once admitted to our novitiate, you’ll live with us for six months. You’l learn more about the OHC and our ministry—and discern whether to continue. 
  3. Next, by community agreement, you receive the monastic habit. During the next two years, you’ll build a foundation in monastic life—and discern whether to make a profession of the three-fold Benedictine vow (Obedience, Stabilityand Conversion to monasticism). 
  4. As a junior professed brother you will be in temporary vows for up to five years, renewing your vow as needed until we mutually discern if Life Profession or withdrawal from the community is appropriate.

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