Coronavirus Update aAND THE HERMITAGES:
The Hermitages are open for all those who have been fully vaccinated.
In the Judeo-Christian tradition solitude has always carried a sense of intimacy with God. The prophet Hosea describes God “alluring” persons to the desert to speak to their heart. Psalm 46 voices God’s invitation, “Be still and know that I am God.” Jesus withdrew to deserted places both to make great decisions and to pray after particularly full days of preaching. In turn, he invited his apostles to do the same.
This revered practice of withdrawing into solitude has continued over the centuries as individuals and groups explored ways to engage in this deeply spiritual experience appropriate to their historical time and geographic location. For some it was traveling to wild, deserted places. For others it was withdrawing to a nearby mountain or simply a small designated room attached to a traditional religious site.
Our hermitages are located in Aston about a quarter of mile north of the motherhouse. They are on the same property as Clare House within natural woods and sited in a way that treads lightly on the earth. One hermitage is handicapped accessible from the parking area. Each hermitage is a single-dwelling room, 17 X 17 feet, equipped with air-conditioning and heat, offering an area for contemplation, eating, sleeping and bathing, as well as a private porch for outdoor reflection and prayer.
Each hermitage provides…
Bed, bedding, pillows, blankets, sheets, etc.
Closet with hangers for clothing, etc.
Table, desk and chair
Toilet, shower, mirror
Towels, washcloth, bath mat, toilet tissue
Kitchen facilities such as:
Sink, and stove top
Microwave, coffee pot, small pot, small frying pan
Cooking utensils, pot holders, dish towels/cloths
Dinnerware: plates, glasses, cups, flatware
Packets of sugar/substitute, creamer, salt and pepper
Trash can/plastic trash bags
What you may want to bring
Food (not provided)
First aid items (kit)
Toiletries (including insect repellent)
Tapes/CDs and equipment
To assist you…
A folder in each hermitage provides:
Directions to Area Churches
Locations and directions to local stores
The Franciscan Solitude Experience
Franciscans bring a unique dimension to the spiritual practice of solitude as envisioned and lived by St. Francis of Assisi and his followers. St. Francis moved in and out of solitude with a profound sense of the integral relationship of all creation as brother and sister. Drawing on the gospel images of “Martha and Mary,” he created a simple ten-verse ‘rule” for those wishing to spend time in a hermitage experience to spend time in a hermitage experience which integrates solitude with relationship.