Retreat House

“Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ, for He is going to say, ‘I came as a guest, and you received Me'” (Matthew 25:35) Saint Benedict’s Rule for Monasteries, Chapter 53

chapelRooms in our Retreat House are available by reservation to men and women who wish to spend several days with us in quietness and prayer. There are no conferences, nor is there a rigid schedule to follow. Weekday retreats begin on Monday at 3 pm and end on Friday by 9:30 am. Weekend retreats are from Friday at 3 pm through Sunday at 3 pm. Reservations may be made by letter, telephone or email.

The opportunity for enjoying silence and solitude is a special part of your retreat. Please share this with the monks by helping maintain the quiet of the surroundings and respecting the privacy of the monastic quarters.

Catholic Priests who are making a retreat at our guest house are welcome to concelebrate Mass in the Abbey church with the monks.

Holy Cross Abbey retreatants leave highway traffic to travel a country mile alongside the Shenandoah River, between rows of sycamores and osage oranges whose upper branches meet high overhead, forming a covered byway. On turning in through the monastery gates a sudden great expanse opens. Fields roll away to right and left – corn or soybeans or winter cover crops or ploughed furrows waiting for seed. The Guest House is first glimpsed at a distance, earth-colored as the Virginia clay on which it stands, the gray-brown roof in silhouette against the Blue Ridge Mountains. Beyond, the line of the Shenandoah is marked by sycamores so ancient they are known as witness trees. This past half-century it is the hallowing of the place by the continual prayers of monks that they have witnessed. Before the monks came it was the different hallowings of the generations who farmed this land, and back ten thousand years the footsteps of the first travelers along the river paths, and their descendants.

All of good will are welcome at Holy Cross Abbey, those of whatever faith, those seeking faith, those not blessed with faith. You will find beauty of many kinds, and you will find peace.

Fifteen retreatants are here during the week, and another fifteen for the weekend. The Cistercian (Trappist) monks of Holy Cross Abbey welcome and honor you, and invite you to share for a time the rhythms and stillness of our life.

Our retreats are non-directed, individual and monastic in nature. They are scheduled for:

arrival: Monday, 3 pm or later
departure: Friday, by 9:30 am

arrival: Friday, 3 pm or later
departure: Sunday, by 3 pm

All rooms are single, with private bath. Tape recorders with earphones are permitted; the use of musical instruments is not; cell phones may be used only out of doors. It is well to bring a flashlight, rainwear, and comfortable shoes. Books and tapes are available in the Retreat House library. Meals are provided; personal silence is observed. Dinner is at 6:25 pm – if you are arriving after 6:30, please have dinner beforehand.

Retreatants are welcome to attend the daily Eucharist celebrated in the Abbey Church, and any of the five services of psalms and readings from Vigils at 3:30 am to Compline at 7:30 pm. Priests are invited to concelebrate the Mass. The Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the Retreat House Chapel, a serene space for prayer and meditation. A monk is available for personal direction, counseling, or the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Advance reservations and a deposit are required. Early booking is advisable: The Guest House is often filled many weeks in advance. We ask for early notice if a cancellation becomes necessary, to allow someone on the waiting list to plan for a retreat.

There is no longer a restriction on how many retreats per year a person may choose to make.
Contact us for Guest House reservations at:

Holy Cross Abbey
901 Cool Spring Lane
Berryville Virginia 22611

Phone: 540 955 4383