Spiritual

These Trappist nuns have a unique idea for women up to age 55

One abbey's creative way to gain an extra set of hands, offer a retreat environment, and perhaps inspire more

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This small community of  Trappist nuns at Santa Rita Abbey in Arizona have come up with a wonderful way to give their household a bit of new energy while providing women with a means of making a deep retreat, and who knows — perhaps some new vocations may even come out of the close encounter of becoming a Volunteer Helper.

We welcome you to join us as a volunteer from one to seven months, April through November. Because space is limited, we take only one volunteer at a time. As a volunteer you live on the monastery grounds at the retreat house. You help us with our work for about four and a half hours a day with Saturday and Sunday free, or Sunday and one other day during the week. The work provides a variety of things from helping in our altar bread department, various chores around the monastery such as vacuuming, helping to cook, cleaning the retreat house, or gardening and outdoor work. We adjust the work to a person’s talents and capabilities as well as to our current needs. The rest of your time is free.

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You are welcome to the community liturgy or simply to take quiet time in the church. The Sisters chant the Divine Office five times a day in church, with two of the lesser prayer times at the place of work. The chapel at the retreat house is also available to you, as well as a small library next to the kitchen.

There are some minimum requirements: our volunteer program is for women up to 55 years of age, having good health, being able work in various areas and having the ability to get along with others. Those who have time between studies or a temporary gap in work would find this a beneficial program.

If you’re interested, find out more here.

The nuns report that the program is off to a good start, with three volunteers already booked.