Monastic Stay - Kloster auf Zeit

Gothic Arch in the Cloister
Participants in „Monastic Stay“ in front of the Basilica
In the monastery library

„Kloster auf Zeit“ the „Monastic Stay“ is a special program for men. It involves the opportunity form men to live side by side with the monks. The idea for the first group of this kind came from an entrepreneur, who learned of the Buddhist practice of temporary monkdom as the basis for successful life, as well as the custom that statesmen, managers and people from all walks of life withdraw to a monastery before important decisions. He asked Niederaltaich whether something similar might be possible. Since then our monastery has offered “Kloster auf Zeit”/Monastic stays as a help for spiritual orientation.

The courses for first timers are two weeks long and held, so far, only in German. Those who have participated have the option of a “Repeat Retreat” for a week several times a year. During this time the participants, who are quite diverse in age, profession and faith, have an opportunity to merge with the rhythms of monastic life, they sit with the monks during services and eat with them in the rectory. During this time they wear a choir robe that is very similar to the habit of the monks. In an introduction they receive the explanation of the rich symbolism of the robe. It makes a deeper participation in the monastic rites and gestures possible and is meant as a help in maintaining silence and prayer.

The purpose of the retreat talks is to render the Christian monastic tradition fruitful for daily life in the outside world. Discussion groups offer opportunities for questions and greater depth. Of course there is also opportunity for individual consultations and guidance. The goal of these two weeks for first-timers is to come to terms with one’s own way of life. The services with the monks (which normally begin at 5:30 am), the spiritual talks in the morning and in the afternoon, the meditation sessions, and periods of solitude represent a mental and spiritual challenge for the participants. For this reason we would not advise those in psychological or psychotherapeutic treatment to take part in the Monastic Stay.

Typical daily schedule (workdays)

Further informations (in German)

Inquiries and reservations please address (best in writing) to:
P. John Hauck OSB
Benedictine Abbey of Niederaltaich
94557 Niederaltaich
Tel.: 09901 / 208-6 (Best time to call: Mo.-Fr. 9 am to 12 pm)
Fax: 09901 / 208-250