If you’re seeking some quiet time in prayer, this Benedictine Abbey in Jamberoo may be the perfect place for you. We reached the place after visiting nearby Kiama but not without losing confidence we were driving in the right direction. A couple of calls to the Abbey and we found ourselves finally back on track after initially turning back. And so on to 695 Jamberoo Mountain Road.




Australia has mild winters and a walk along this tree-lined road can be quite an experience.


Last photo of my pair of shoes that has seen better days. I’m happy the pair’s last photo was this shot taken at the Abbey.



The way to the Abbey is almost magical as we drove through a lonely road lined with trees that has seen winter. Well, it IS winter in Australia in July. The scenery reminded us of the vow of silence and prayerful meditation following the rule of Saint Benedict. Quite a chore, given that we arrived with 2 little boys. The small chapel with stained glass windows kept them quiet only for a while. Curiosity got the better of the youngest boy especially once we reached the Guestry where guests are welcomed with the Benedictine hospitality.




The walkway to the Chapel where the Benedictine nuns pray and meditate.


The Altar overlooks a lovely garden.



We were the only ones in the Chapel but photo files allowed us to imagine how the Benedictine Nuns pray and meditate within this lovely chapel overlooking a garden. There were not too many chairs and pews, indicating the nun population is quite limited. The Guestry has 3 tables and the boys easily claimed 2 where they enjoyed their juice and cookies. We were served coffee and tea plus a most inspiring talk with one of the nuns. Her voice was just a couple of notches above a whisper, and we found her demeanor and quiet glee most reassuring. She listed down our names with a promise that they will include us all in prayer.




Photo sourced from the website of Benedictine Abbey in Jamberoo. At the time we visited, we were the only ones inside the Chapel.


So eerily quiet here. But not in a disturbing way. The gentle silence is conducive to prayerful meditation.



As we chatted, the boys loitered around the nearby hall and corridor. I’m sure the youngest boy was tempted to wet himself in the small pond and to blow some of the lighted candles. Thank God he didn’t as we eagerly listened to Sister telling us how retreatants are welcome to rent and stay in some of the few cottages within the complex. A family cottage is available too, and guided retreats can be arranged. Lunch will be served in the Refectory but breakfasts are prepared by retreatants inside the cottages using supplies provided by the nuns.




Photo of the Guestry sourced from the web.


Photo of the Refectory sourced from the Web.



The first word of the Rule of St. Benedict is “LISTEN”.. Sounds simple, but having just done a retreat in a Benedictine Monastery back home, I know it isn’t that simple. “Incline the ear of your heart” requires some serious finetuning of the senses if one were to feel God’s presence. The atmosphere in this Abbey and the solitude should help achieve this prayerful silence during the retreat. To quiet one’s heart can be quite a chore and may not come as naturally to most people. But one’s got to try.


(Thanks Reia, for driving us to this Abbey, plus lotsa more!)


Photo of the Abbey sourced from the Web.


Photo of the Retreat Cottages sourced from the Web.


Abbey Crafts available for sale in the Abbey Crafts Store.