CATHOLIC monasteries housing some of Europe and the USA’s “holiest men” are attracting young Australians searching for God’s call.
Desiring a peaceful and prayerful place to discern his vocation, 23-year-old Thomas Ryan has booked tickets to visit Benedictine monasteries in the United States and France.
His visit is part of an organised tour with six other men visiting monks from Clear Creek Abbey in Oklahoma, and in France at Fontgombault Abbey, Abbey St Madeleine du Barroux and Abbey St Joseph de Clairval in Falvigny.
The tour, open to young men aged 18 -35, still discerning and interested in traditional contemplative Benedictine monastic life, is also a response to the Year of Consecrated Life, which Pope Francis asked to be honoured in 2015.
Inside silent communities that thrive off a strict prayer regime and little contact with the outside world, Mr Ryan will spend most of his time praying about whether to choose religious life or marriage.
“St John Bosco said that one-third of people are called to the religious life or the priesthood, and to me that’s a massive number,” Mr Ryan said.
“I want to make sure that I’m doing precisely what God wants me to do and the thing that will enable me to spend eternity with Him.
“I’ve never personally experienced the monastic life so it’s very important that I try that and, I know for sure it will assist in my discernment, based on the fact that I’ll be meeting some of the holiest men on earth.”
Silence is not intimidating for the Carindale businessman, who is excited to trade the noise from Brisbane city for a meeting with “the founders of Western society and culture”.
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