A Benedictine monk leads a life of prayer dedicated to seeking God in everything. This is a community life, inspired by the Rule of St Benedict, under the leadership of an Abbot. The prayer of the monk is expressed in community by participating in the Divine Office, and expands silently in daily periods of quiet withdrawal, meditation and in an open receptiveness to God through all the moments of the day.
There is a rich variety of monastic work at Glenstal. Monks of this abbey are engaged in academic, artistic, literary, domestic, administrative and agricultural work. There is no specific work associated with monasticism and our apostolate is primarily one of presence, witness and service. The Sacred Liturgy, which St Benedict calls ‘The Work of God’, comes before all else in the life of a monk.
Every monastery possesses a library. At Glenstal our library numbers many thousands of books. The search for God is also carried out through study where the monks seek out wisdom and knowledge as useful to themselves and to society. Particularly important is lectio divina, a meditative reading of Bible in order to hear the voice of God and respond in prayer and life.
When someone expresses an interest in monastic life here at Glenstal, we discuss with him the various issues involved and help him to arrive at a good decision for the future. It can take a number of conversations to see the way forward clearly. Both the person enquiring and those working with him from the monastery need to be satisfied that the attraction to monastic life is not a delusion distracting from his real vocation, but points to a real call from God. It takes some time to arrive at this judgment.
Candidates for monastic life are Catholic, single men who desire to devote themselves to God in prayer, work and meditative reading. They should normally show that they are capable of earning a living and they should not be in debt. They should also have robust physical and mental health and be able to live with others in a community.
Novices are received into the community after a period of introduction where the prospective candidate gets to know the community and the community the candidate. The noviciate normally lasts one year.
You will get a broad sense of our way of life if you browse through the various pages on our website.
For more information write to or email:
Br Colmán Ó Clabaigh OSB
The Vocations Director