St. Paul Abbey Guidelines for visitations and Retreats

St. Paul Abbey requests that in order to benefit from your retreat and time at the Abbey and that the sanctity of the Abbey is maintained, the following guidelines be kept.

General Guidelines

  • The Abbey is your place so please keep it clean (please do not leave dirty dishes in the sink)
  • Please abide by the Church Schedule.
  • Please arrive at church 10 minutes prior to the beginning of service.
  • Please respect the sanctity of the church and dress appropriately (no shorts, no sleepwear in church).
  • If arriving late, prostrate (worship) in the back of the church and refrain from greeting anyone.
  • Before you leave, ensure that the retreat house and refractory are clean and ready for the next visitor.
  • Readings and serving in the altar is to be distributed by one of the monks and please follow the father leading the service.

For Retreatants

  • The Abbey provides sheets and pillows. Please make sure to bring them to the laundry room before leaving (except for the covers).
  • Bring your own toiletries, towels, and masks.
  • Bring your Bible, Agpeya and a spiritual book. No electronics are allowed in the Church.
  • No leaving the Abbey premises throughout your stay unless granted permission.
  • Please note that bedtime is at 10:30 p.m.
  • Indoor gatherings or cooking are not permitted after 10:30 p.m.
  • You will be expected to prepare your own meals from the food provided by the Abbey.
    • The Abbey does not provide food for groups. It is requested that ready-made or ready-to-cook meals are brought.

Four [monks] from Scete dressed in skins once came visiting the blessed Abba Pambo, and they each made known the virtue of another in his absence. The first one fasted a great deal; the second was indifferent to possessions; the third was very charitable. Of the fourth one, they told him that he had been under the authority of an elder for twenty-two years. “I tell you that obedience is greater than the virtue of you all,” Abba Pambo replied to them, “for each one of you has obtained whatever virtue he possesses by his own will, while he, suspending his own will, does the will of somebody else. Such persons are confessors if they hold fast to the end.