My Mother-In-Law celebrated her 70th birthday this week, and we wanted to do something a little different for her. So, we decided to visit the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia. It is an active, working monastery of Trappist Monks.
I am not Catholic, but I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and I must say the life that these monks lead is to be commended and in some ways envied.
They begin their day at 3:45 am with Vespers at 4:15 am. Then they each observe a time of contemplation and bible study alone with the Lord. Breakfast is at 8:00 am. All of their meals are silent with only scriptures or teaching being played as they eat. They begin work at 8:30. For some work is gardening, or maybe working in the Bonsai House creating exquisite trees. Others work in the bakery making fruit cake, biscotti and fudge. There is a magnificent stained glass workshop on the premises, as well. They harvest honey, grow crops and so much more. The Monastery was designed to be self sufficient when in was founded in the 1940's and continues to this day to carry on in that order.
Some highlights you will want to see are the Chapel bathed in blue light from the stained glass windows; the new Abbey Gift Shop and Cafe; The Bonsai House; The Museum which includes a 21 minute film on the history of the Monastery; Visiting with the Precious Monks; Walking the Grounds which includes a Prayer Walk with many statues and flowers along the way; Time by the pond with lots of Geese and so much more.
If you are ever in the Atlanta area, Conyers is about 45 minutes to the east. A visit to the Monastery is well worth the trip.