Christ of the Desert Monastary, Abiquiu

#4 of 11 in Things to do in Abiquiu
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Monastery of Christ in the Desert is a Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery belonging to the English Province of the Subiaco Congregation of Benedictine monasteries.

The monastery is in Abiquiu, New Mexico, surrounded by miles of undisturbed wilderness amidst the Chama River Canyon Wilderness area 75 miles north of Santa Fe. It is accessible by Forest Road 151, a 13-mile dirt road off of US route 84.

The monastery was founded in 1964 by Aelred Wall, O.S.B., a monk of Mount Savior Monastery in Pine City, New York.

The original monastery was designed by George Nakashima. The chapel was praised by Thomas Merton as the most perfect monastic chapel he had ever visited.
Christ in the Desert follows the Benedictine life without an external apostolate. It has a guesthouse in which men and women can stay and join the monks in the chapel to share in the monastic Divine Office and in the Mass.

In addition to maintaining the guesthouse, the monks manage a gift shop of books and religious items, which is accessible online and by mail order. The monks also work in agriculture, crafts, computer work and maintenance of the grounds and facilities.

Christ in the Desert has three dependent monasteries. Two are in Mexico (Nuestra Senora de la Soledad and Monasterio Benedictino De Santa María y Todos Los Santos) and the other is in Kerens, Texas (Benedictine Monastery of Thien Tam). These monasteries also observe the Benedictine life with no apostolate other than a guesthouse.

The monastery maintains one of the largest private solar power systems in the US, which provides its only source of electricity.

The monastery comprises men from many nations. English is the common language of the house.

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  • Very nice drive on a well maintained but narrow gravel road to a monastery with a pretty little chapel located in a scenic canyon near the river. Did not get a chance to interact with the monks as we....  more »
  • We finally got to visit the Monastery of Christ in the Desert. The 13 mile dirt road wasn’t bad at all and the views along the way were really beautiful. Unfortunately we didn’t see any one in the.....  more »
  • The most remote Christian monastery in the western atmosphere. A beautiful drive along the Rio Chama after driving past the amazing Ghost Ranch area. A beautiful mass.
  • The dirt road is a bit rough but the scenery is AMAZING!! And the monastery is such an amazing piece of architecture. So glad we took the time to check out this peaceful beautiful spiritual place.

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