Retreat Comments

Voices from past retreats:

I have no words to properly express how deeply I wish I could express my sincere thanks to you for your kind generosity in allowing me to attend this weekend's past Discernment Retreat. I asked for tools to assist me in my search, and not only did I receive them, but I received so much more.

- Steve Ziadie

The retreat provided a lot of information about monastic life and gave me the chance to meet Benedictine monks for the first time, which I hoped for. I was also glad to be able to participate in the Divine Office with the monks. I enjoyed being with the monks for liturgical celebrations and for meals. I found the conferences informative and sources of encouragement in my discernment. I think highly of the community at Mount Angel Abbey, which has a good understanding of what it means to live a life of consecration to Christ.

- Hayden Starczala, Canada

"I think every man should experience this life, to get to know the vocational choices God has for us, and to appreciate and value what religious priest and monks do. This was a life changing experience, there are a lot of things that I need to work on but it was truly a gift from God, going to this retreat."

- Giancarlo Gazani, UT

"I know that I am in love. I felt home. I will pray every day that I will be given the grace to return. If I could even dream of applying! For I knew peace there; I don't know the purest words that would need to be collected to symbolize what a grace that the Lord would concieve of opening a door to the beloved abbey."

- Mike Wallace 

"I received a lot of information about how to discern my vocation, what the monastic life is like, and got a clearer picture of how to move forward with my vocation discernment."

- Anthony Stine, OR

"I recommend it to all men discerning."

- Son Nguyen, CA

"Thank you for all of your kind hospitality and generosity during my recent retreat and stay at your guesthouse. I entered with some experience of European Abbeys and was happy to find many of the traditions still prevalent. In addition to a beautiful setting, clean rooms and great food, the real bedrock of a Benedictine community is their praying and singing of the Divine Office. This for me was one of the highlights of my visit and during my last vesper service, the very thought of pulling away from this community of men, even after just a few days, caused me to have to stop myself and regroup. Though a lifetime can only truly reveal the whole person, each of my brief encounters with the brothers was charged with a deep rooted and sincere faith that truly surprised me. I came expecting one thing and left with a completely different idea of what it is to be an American Benedictine. Though the rigidity of Europe is not as prevalent, the sincere love and search for God among each and everyone one of these men is. Mount Angel is truly a special place and I cannot wait to return. "

-Paul Hearn, Seattle, WA

"No words can describe...there's a sense of peace, knowledge and sprituality."

-Hector Escalante, Houston, TX

"Everything was great! God bless your work. It has changed my life for the better."

-Daniel Diaz, 20, Springfield, OR

My experience in the community was wonderful. I enjoyed the liturgy and chanting. ... the way they live their life is busy, but they always make time for prayer. I learned about their individual talents, and what they do in their spare time. It is not something you can picture until you live with them for a week. They really see each other as brothers, there is a bond that joins them together and they welcome you with open hands. Being around them you get to see that they are men who enjoy the way the live and have no regrets whatsoever about the choice they have made about giving their will to God. I felt like I had arrived home to my long lost family. You can feel and see Christ give you a smile when they give you a smile.

- Emmanuel Alva Ramirez, CA