Connects: Capitol Creek Road (CR 9), Monastery Road (CR 9B)
Old Snowmass, CO – Monastery
St. Benedict’s Monastery is a Trappist monastery that is nestled in a flat area surrounded by high ridges on nearly 4,000 acres in Snowmass, CO. The monastery is 1 mile from the turn off onto Monastery Road and also has a Bookstore, Retreat House, and Hermitage Guest Rooms. This is a short dirt road in Old Snowmass, CO.
The monks of St. Benedict’s Monastery belong to the ancient Cistercian Order founded at Citeaux in France in 1098 by St. Robert of Molesme and his companions. These early Cistercian monks sought to focus their search for God through a radical simplification of their lifestyle in an environment of intense silence and attentiveness.
In the 17th Century, the Order underwent a reform centering at another monastery in France called La Trappe. This was the beginning of the Order of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance (O.C.S.O.) and has come to be commonly known as The Trappists.
The Cistercian monks here at St. Benedict’s Monastery claim this as our lineage buy our history goes back even farther. Cistercians follow the Rule of St. Benedict which was written in the Sixth Century as a guide for monastic life lived in community. So, the monastic life here in this beautiful valley represents over 1400 years of the lived, dedicated and shared wisdom of monks through the centuries.
The main elements of a monastic life are the Divine Office (the prayer sung together at special times throughout the day and night), daily Eucharist, the personal prayer of the monks together with meditation and studies as well as manual labor which supports the monastery and its mission.
Silence and solitude are the environment in which the monks seek to respond to God’s call to love God and all people and creatures. Far from being an escape or an avoidance of people and the world, the monks here at St. Benedict’s see their solitude and silence as a response to the deep needs of the world and its people.
The radical separation from the daily concerns of society is itself an unspoken plea to all find comfort, support and ultimate meaning in God alone. Thus, the monastery celebrates the presence of God in a special way. It is a symbol of God’s presence. The life of the monastery is, then, to do in silence and separateness those things that will encourage people to turn to God in all things. It is a ministry, even a prophetic ministry, of presence in stillness.”
The communal life of the monks centers around prayer, meditation and labor for self support
The principal means of support are ranching, retreat facilities, gift shop and monastery cookies”