New Mexico April 26, 2018
There’s A Monastery Hidden Along The River In New Mexico And You’ll Want To Visit
Tucked away in the beautiful desert area of the Chama Canyon wilderness in northwest New Mexico is a little-known monastery. Located about 75 north of Santa Fe and 13 miles down an unpaved road off U.S. Route 84 is the Monastery of Christ in the Desert, which is surrounded by miles of government-protected lands, awe-inspiring cliffs, tree-covered mountains, and the Chama River. Here’s why you’ll want to visit this holy place:
The journey to reach the Monastery is filled with beauty and solitude.
Reaching the remote town of Abiquiu, New Mexico, is just the beginning of the spiritual visit full of solitude, quiet, and natural beauty. The monastery is surrounded by miles of unspoiled wilderness within the Chama River Canyon Wildnerness area.
The beautiful Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery was built in 1994.
Day visitors and overnight guests are welcomed for self-directed retreats. The monks there celebrate mass daily, and invite visitors to pray with them. Visitors of all faiths are welcomed. Reservations for overnights require a minimum of two nights. Simple accommodations and meals are included wit ha suggested donation of $70 to $150 per night.
The view inside the Abby Church looking outward to the beauty surrounding the monastery is inspirational.
Visitors are welcome to walk the grounds, pray, find their spiritual core, and simply learn more about the lifestyles and followings of the monks who live here. It is open on weekdays from 8:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Conventual Mass (holy Eucharist) is held at 9:15 A.M. on Sunday.
The well-tended grounds and natural areas provide a place of solicitude and worship.
Restrooms are available for day guests but meals are provided for overnight guests only. Much of the food is grown on premises. Hikes are welcomed throughout the grounds as well.
The monks at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert are responsible for all the work necessary to maintain the monastery and provide for the visitors and overnight guests.
A guestmaster is available to answer questions about the lifestyle. St. Benedict's Rule prescribes that monks meet together in the monastery's church for prayer seven times each day and once in the night. The entire 150 Psalms are prayed each week. The tasks help assure the self-sufficiency of the monastery along with the support received from friends and benefactors.
The monastery's location alongside the Chama River gives it needed substance and life.
Visitors often find a hike to the river is just what is needed to provide sought-after tranquility and inner peace. The water source for the monastery comes from the river, where water is disinfected and pumped into three storage tanks that supply all water needs. Drinking water is further purified by reverse osmosis.
Snowfall here provides a spectacular backdrop to the Chapel.
The monastery is open throughout the year and beautifully reflects the changes of seasons. The church was originally heated by propane stoves. On Christmas Eve in 1974, temperatures were -7 degrees Fahrenheit in the canyon. Today, the monastery has adopted sustainable and energy efficient technologies for utilities. It primarily operates on solar-generated power.
The nightscape here is truly a sight to behold, and overnight guests are blessed with the sheer beauty found here.
Thanks to solar power, the guesthouse and ranch house now have electricity, although only essential items should be utilized. The monastery is about 6,500 feet above sea level and temperatures here vary to the extremes, so visitors are asked to plan accordingly.
If you are anywhere near Santa Fe, the visit to this tranquil and holy place is absolutely worth the visit. You will most likely find yourself reluctant to leave, as the surroundings help guests renew their spirituality.
Have you visited Monastery of Christ in the Desert, and if so, what was your experience here? Did you take a day trip or did you opt to spend a few nights (or more) here? For related content, you’ll fall in love with these
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