The guesthouse at Nový Dvůr

At the end of June, Bishop Radkovský will come to bless our guesthouse, on which restoration work has at last been completed. Saint Benedict asked monks to welcome priests and pilgrims as a priority. Our guesthouse will therefore be firstly aimed at priests, monks, and people wishing to stay a few days in a monastery to enjoy its silence, the possibility of praying, or to take a break. We will strive to offer them silent rooms, simple and abundant meals, the possibility of doing manual work or reading, of meeting a monk or a priest. Our guests will attend services in the church with the community; will take their meals in silence as they listen to the reading at lunchtime in the monks’ refectory. The guest master asks them to help do the washing up, to clean their rooms and the dining rooms. Most brothers are still in formation, and all around, there is no shortage of work. This part of the guesthouse is reserved for men; it is partitioned off. In the other, we welcome families and women. In the same building, we also offer a vast reception room where visitors will find a photographic exhibition, books, a few monastic products, and information about participating in our services.

We will continue to welcome young people passing through, alone or in small groups, who want to taste the joys and harshness of monastic life. A good hundred or so of these young people, maybe more, have visited the monastery since its foundation. Not all of them have become monks – far from it, and that is a good thing! But I hope they remember these stays, which should have given substance and solidity to their Christian life.

Otec Jan, a Slovakian Salesian priest, will complete a long stay with us in June. When he made his request to stay, he wanted to lead a more intense life of prayer for six months, and soon he will return to his ministry of working with young people. He has lived like us and with us. He is a good worker, much appreciated by the brothers. It is not the first time that priests have come to us for this experience. A first constraint is imposed: that of living in silence…and giving up cell phones and the internet for a few months. What a requirement and what liberation! The other is to make sure, during a short stay, that our austere life suits them.

Those people who helped us to build the monastery or the guesthouse may perhaps want to visit us. When unable to accommodate them on site, we will make sure that they will find a good welcome nearby. The best thanks we can give them consist without a doubt in trying to always live humbly, but as faithfully as possible: what the Lord and the Church expect of us.

Pentecost 2009