The Monastery of the Holy Spirit
Welcome and thank you for your interest.
The Monastery has always tried to be wise and prudent stewards of this beautiful 2,000 acre tract of land God has given us. We try to keep a balance between protecting the natural environment while making use of the resources to aid our economic needs.
Working with Memorial Ecosystems to create conservation burial grounds at the Monastery seemed a perfect fit for us - natural burial together with ecological restoration and all protected by a conservation easement. We are currently preparing to launch the Honey Creek Woodlands Conservation Burial Grounds later this year.
Founded in 1944
"The Abbey of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit," or more commonly "The Monastery of the Holy Spirit," was founded in 1944 by a group of Cistercian monks, often referred to as Trappists, sent to Georgia from the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky.
Silence and Solitude
The Monastery grounds include slightly over 2,000 acres of land in a rapidly growing suburban area southeast of Atlanta. Trappist monks have traditionally had a special relationship to the land around them. Beauty and solitude are both necessary ingredients for our contemplative life. The land is essential for providing a place of solitude and silence, which are hallmarks of our Cistercian Order and into which we warmly invite all people.
In 1944 when the Monastery of the Holy Spirit was founded, it was relatively far from the nearest community, which was Conyers, Georgia. The Trappist monks who arrived found themselves in an old barn, on part of the old Honey Creek Plantation in rural Georgia. The roads leading to it were all red Georgia clay, and when the monks, hoping to follow their agricultural roots sent a soil sample to the University of Georgia, they were told to "make bricks." Atlanta, though the capital, was a relatively small southern town and seemed far away.
We are well aware that the land has a monetary value. In fact, some people have suggested that we sell bits and pieces of the land in order to take care of the Monastery well into the future. However, after years of prayerful discernment we continue to believe that the property is not just for us but is a sacred trust that needs protecting for future generations, not only for monks, but for all those who hunger for places of peace, beauty and tranquility.
With this belief in mind, we have recently made significant decisions concerning the long range stewardship of the land both to insure its protection as well as our continuing presence on the land we have grown to love.
Traditionally, we have supported ourselves through various small industries. These include a stained glass studio that designs windows mainly for churches in the Southeast; a Bonsai Greenhouse; the trade and retail sale of high grade Japanese Bonsai pottery and supplies; a Catholic bookstore and gift shop, which is one of the largest in the Southeast; and the production of specialty food items that include fruitcakes and fudge. We also receive income from our Retreat House which operates on the basis of donations.
Although a portion of the sales in Honey Creek Woodlands will be put aside for the perpetual care of the burial grounds, we pray that this new source of revenue will provide urgently needed financial assistance for the Monastery as well as enable us to continue protecting and sharing this beautiful land God has entrusted to us.
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