Glenstal, in the Benedictine tradition of hospitality, has an open gate to all who visit and all are welcome here. You are especially welcome to join the monks for the different hours of prayer and for Mass though you may visit the Church at any time.
“We believe that God is present everywhere but especially let us believe this when we are performing the Divine Office.” (RB 19)
Information is available at the Monastery Reception which is located on the right-hand side after the entrance arch. (Weekdays 10.30 – 4.30 Sunday/ Bank holidays 11 – 4) You are also welcome to visit the grounds and the Shop.
The monastery, located at the heart of the former Barrington estate, exists in a beautiful place. Many visitors simply walk the avenues at their leisure. The adjacent lands have a wide variety of specimen trees and flowers and is a wildlife sanctuary. <image of the avenues and woods> Part of the remains of Ireland’s primitive oak forest lies along the edge of the Front Avenue.
In welcoming you, we ask you to be mindful that the space available to you is the home of a monastic community, boarding school and a working farm. Many areas are thus designated as ‘private’. The school buildings, playing fields and cloister areas are not open to the public, although viewing can be arranged for visiting groups by appointment. Other areas are without access because of health and safety. Car parking and walking is your own risk.
We are happy to welcome groups who wish to visit the monastery and spend some time getting to know our place, our tradition and our life. In recent times many Active Retirement and Parish Groups have been visiting as well as School, University, International and Pilgrim Groups. All such visits are and must be pre-organised.
Typically groups arrive at Monastery Reception at 10.30 for tea/coffee and a homemade scone. This is followed by an address by one of the monks on the life and work of the monastery. All are invited, irrespective of religious affiliation, to join the community for Mass at 12.10 during the week and on Sundays at 10:00 am.
Mass is celebrated in English but with Gregorian Chant sung in Latin. This is followed by lunch where there is time to explore the gardens, take a walk, and visit the icon chapel.
We appreciate that a parish retreat day will have different needs to an active retirement group, so we are very happy to assist you in devising a day tailored to your specific needs.