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2023 Oblate Retreat_edited_edited_edited

Benedictine Hospitality

 

The Saint Laurence Campus

 

The Benedictine Fellowship of Saint Laurence, a Colorado not-for-profit corporation, owns our beautiful, 600-acre property . The monastic brotherhood lives here in return for hosting the retreat and guest ministry of the Fellowship.

 

The property is bounded by scenic public lands, which are accessible for hiking. Tallahassee Creek runs through the length of the property, flowing some 8 miles to the southeast until it empties into the Arkansas River. Wildlife abounds, with deer, elk, wild turkeys, bobcats, foxes, bears, eagles, hawks, and a variety of other bird species.

 

The central campus features three main buildings:

 

St. Herman’s Lodge, our primary guest facility, is a two-story log cabin. The first floor, which is surrounded on three sides by a spacious veranda, contains the main Kitchen and Refectory (Dining Room), a cozy sitting area with books and a big-screen TV and DVD Player that are available to guests, a half-bath, and a guest bedroom. The upper floor has two guest rooms with double beds, one with two twin beds, a dormitory containing eight bunk beds, two bathrooms, and a large balcony.

 

The monastic building has three levels. On the main level are the Oratory (Chapel) of Saint Laurence, (which can accommodate 60 people for services or retreat talks), a handicapped accessible restroom, the St. Jerome Book Nook, and the Sacristy: this level is surrounded by a covered cloister (walkway) suitable for processions or summer-time outdoor relaxation, conversations, or sleeping. The upper level contains a guest bed- room, a solarium and sitting area, and a spacious balcony overlooking the eastern meadow and mountains. The lower level contains monastic cells and a library, a small kitchen and dining area, an office, laundry facilities, storage, and mechanical equipment.

 

St. Audrey’s Cottage contains the Abbot's office, parlor, and cell.

 

Guests

 

The St. Herman's Lodge can accommodate individual, family, or small group retreats. The number of guests we can house varies according to the make-up of a group (men, women, couples, etc.). All people, of any faith, are welcome to visit and make retreats here, while being respectful of the Orthodox Christian faith and practice of the monastic community. The following information is helpful to keep in mind. A complete listing of guest policies is available from the Guest Master.

 

Some Important information for all guests

 

1) We regret that, in order to protect both the facilities and our own animals, pets are not allowed. In accord with Colorado law, trained and certified service animals are welcome. They must be kept on leash, supervised by, and cleaned up after by their owners at all times. There will be a $50.00 cleaning fee for soiled rugs or damage to furniture.

2) Smoking or vaping are not allowed inside of, or within 30 feet of, the buildings. Consumption of alcohol, apart from wine or beer served with meals, must be approved by the Abbot. The use of illegal recreational drugs, apparent intoxication, harassment (physical or social/psychological), or aggressive behavior towards others will result in immediate expulsion from the property.

3) With the exception of the Sacred Liturgy of the Mass (for which there are booklets available), the services are sung by the resident community, alone. You are invited to pray along in your mind and heart. The reception of Holy Communion at Mass is restricted to Orthodox Christians in good standing, who have properly prepared through prayer, fasting, and confession according to the norms of their particular jurisdiction.

4) Normally, individual guests are expected to follow the monastic schedule, eat the midday meal with the monks (this is the main meal of the day), and attend the scheduled daily services of Lauds and Vespers. Attendance at the other daily services is encouraged, but not expected. Non-Orthodox, Christian groups can arrange with the Abbot to use the chapel for services when it is not in use by the monks.

5) We are located 50--60 minutes from the nearest medical facilities or hospital, in Canon City. We  are neither trained nor authorized to provide medical treatment to guests, beyond the simplest First Aid measures.  Guests with serious medical conditions should keep this in mind when deciding to participate in retreats on our campus. The high altitude can present a challenge to those with respiratory challenges; the UV level is also higher, which may be problematic for some people with skin conditions. Appropriate cautions should be exercised.

 

6) Phone and internet service is limited. There is a satellite-based Guest wi-fi network that may be used for email, simple browsing of "safe" sites, or wi-fi calling. It does not allow streaming of videos or video games. Use of the main wi-fi network for group presentations during retreats may be arranged with the Guest Master. Please be aware that weather or other factors may interfere with the functioning of satellite-based internet.

 

7) Departing guests are expected to strip the sheets from their bed, place them in the pillow case, and leave them on the floor of the room. then the bed is to be remade using clean linens provided in the closet or set of drawers in the guest room. Please, do not put blankets, comforters, towels, etc. in the pillowcase with the sheets.

 

Individual Visits or Retreats

 

1) In keeping with Orthodox monastic tradition, there is no set fee for individuals wishing to stay as a guest. Those who are with us for more than two days may be asked to assist with one or another aspect of the day to day work of maintaining and developing the campus.

2) Donations to help cover the cost of meals and utilities or other “in kind” donations are very much welcomed and are an important means of support for the monastic community and its mission of hospitality.

 

Group Retreats or Events

 

1) We welcome churches, groups, or organizations to hold retreats, conferences, or events at the St. Laurence Center. We are a great location for small ministry teams, prayer groups, parish councils, training sessions, receptions, and more.

 

2) Indoor, overnight accommodations are limited to approximately 18 people, depending on the configuration of the group; this includes a large dormitory room with 10 bunk beds. It is possible, in good weather, to accommodate outdoor sleeping for those who bring air mattresses and sleeping bags. We also permit tents and RV’s on the grounds. Single-day events may be attended by larger numbers.

3) Due to the amount of labor and resources involved in hosting groups, the Benedictine Fellowship does charge a set, per-person fee for hosting groups. Groups have the option of providing their own food and using the main kitchen for preparation or having the monastics provide and prepare meals, which may be planned in consultation with the group leaders. Outdoor grills are available.

 

Groups may collect payment from participants and submit one payment to the Guest Master, or they may provide us with a list of participants from whom we will collect individual payments. The base fees for each participant in a group retreat or event are as follow:

Weekend retreat (Friday p.m. through Sunday Brunch: $200.00.

Weekend retreat (Friday p.m. through Sunday Brunch) providing your own meals:  $125.00.

Single-day event with food:  $60.00.

Single-day event providing your own meals:  $40.

Retreats of more than 2 nights: $200.00 plus $60.00 per additional day.

Additional fees that may be added to the base fee:

1) Cost of travel and honorarium for speakers (if arranged for by the monastery), divided by the number of participants.

2) Cost of special equipment, chapel supplies for special services, and similar items, divided by the number of participants.

3) Damage from animals, from smoking in the rooms, or from intentional destruction of property: a minimum fee of $50.00, for which the group's coordinator will be responsible.

Directions

 

PRINTABLE DIRECTIONS to the campus may be obtained by clicking HERE.

 

From Cañon City Colorado:

 

Go west on Highway 50, through Cañon City past the Royal Gorge turnoff

Turn right (north) at the Guffey, Hartsel turn (Highway 9)

Continue north on Highway 9 for approximately 10 ¾ miles (There are mile markers)

Turn left (west) onto Tallahassee Road (County Road 2)

Continue on Tallahassee Road approximately five miles to where

Tallahassee Road becomes County Road 21 (DO NOT turn right to stay on County Road 2)

Continue on CR 21 a little over 2 miles to the Y in the road (mailboxes and trees in center island)

Veer left to take County Road 21A

Follow 21A four miles to the green gate

After entering through the gate and passing the Caretaker’s fenced residence keep to the left at the fork in the road. 
 
The combination for the lockbox at the gate is 9570, which gives access to the key for the padlock. Please note that you must relock the gate after passing through. Please, do not post the combination for the lock-box anywhere on the box or gate! 

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