Benedictine Monastery of Our Lady of the Desert
The Monastery of Our Lady of the Desert is a monastic community of women in the Benedictine tradition. We profess vows of stability, conversion of life and obedience. Our primary mission is to seek God through a life of prayer, silence, and solitude. Our way of life frees us to give glory and praise to God, intercede through prayer for the needs of the world and hospitality.
The phrase “monastic” means living according to the Rule of Saint Benedict, under the guidance of a prioress, abbess, or abbot (for monks). The monastic life involves living the ordinary life in seeking God.
Benedictine spirituality is founded is silence, solitude, holy reading and prayer. Our Horarium or daily schedule begins with Vigils at 4:30 am. We celebrate Mass daily and meet seven times a day to pray the Divine Office as structured by the Rule. All 150 Psalms are chanted in English, in the course of two weeks, which include scripture texts, canticles, and hymns directed by the Benedictine tradition.
We are a contemplative community that has Constitutional enclosure.
-from their website
Professed Members: 12
Year Founded: 1990
Federation/Congregation: Dependent house of Jamberoo Abbey, Australia
Diocese: Gallup, NM
Qualifications: We do not accept women younger than 20 years of age to live in the Monastery nor do we accept women older than 50 years.
Women who are practicing Catholics, free of debts, who do not have children and are unmarried, who demonstrate a healthy psychological and religious balance may be considered as candidates for our life.
When a woman contacts us and seeks information about our community, the Prioress sends her a history of the community as well as some other information about our life.
Formation: After some time of correspondence to get to know each other, the Prioress discusses the possibility with the Formation Team of a visit as a guest observer. During that time, the Prioress interviews her. If the interview is favorable, then she may be allowed to live in the monastic community for a weekend or a full week, during which time the Prioress will interview her. After the interviews, a course of action is presented to the Chapter to be taken: perhaps one or more subsequent visits.
Before a woman enters the postulancy, she must fill out and sign the questionnaire that is normal for our community. The completed questionnaire is given to the Prioress. Normally, the Postulancy will last twelve months. The Novitiate normally lasts two years. The Chapter will not accept a woman to progress from one stage to the next unlesss she has shown that she can live our life with generosity and perseverance. This will included six months evaluation by the Formation Team and if problems, by the Chapter or community.
Age range/limit: 20-50
Belated vocations? Please see Qualifications.