Benedictine monasteries are never without guests, and the guesthouse at Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery continues a Benedictine tradition centuries old of offering hospitality to both individuals and groups. Monastery Guesthouse sleeps 24 people in 17 rooms contained in three different guesthouse buildings. We invite individuals and groups of all faiths to come for retreat, or on a B&B basis.
These quiet facilities include two comfortable meeting rooms perfect for groups and workshops with plenty of breakaway space. A lounge offers our guests a warm and cozy environment to sit and enjoy the fireplace while delving into the spiritual words of wisdom from our guesthouse library. We have a verandah on which people enjoy the beautiful spring and summer days. A spacious dining area provides guests with delicious meals shared with the monastic community.
The Guesthouse also is situated on 50 hectares of land with many walking trails, unique and varied birdlife and magnificent scenery. Farms surrounding the monastery provide a 360º view of the vast valleys outside of Grahamstown, and on a clear day, one can see the ocean.
Our church is open for private prayer throughout the day. Guests are encouraged to attend the daily offices and Eucharist which are led by the monastic community. These experiences of prayer can be a unique and integral part of the retreat experience at the monastery.
The monastery hosts a number of programmes and classes throughout the year which provide interesting insights into prayer, Benedictine spirituality, pastoral care and other topics. These programmes are advertised on this website, as well as in our newsletter, Uxolo, and various other publications. Or you can just ask us to send you a listing of them. The guesthouse is closed from Sunday evening until Tuesday morning.
The Guesthouse is open from Tuesday morning until Sunday afternoon.
Besides spiritual guidance for individuals, the monks are available to help with a variety of retreat topics, such as:
- Praying with Scripture;
- Quiet Days;
- Benedictine Spirituality;
- Benedictine Experience;
- Schools of Prayer; and
- Celtic Spirituality.
*If your group is interested in having a monk lead your retreat, please contact the Guest Master.