Prayer SitesAt Benet Hill Monastery
“We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
-T. S. Elliot
At Benet Hill Monastery retreat guests will find unique and contemplative prayer sites and interconnecting meditative paths throughout the grounds to renew the spirit, quiet the soul, and enhance the prayerful experience of our guests and friends. Persons from all walks of life and many different religious traditions seek God in the serenity and beauty of this wooded setting. See our walking map with paths and other prayerful sites.
All retreat requests are handled personally through email or telephone. Please email requested retreat dates at
Stations of the Cross
Pray in the more traditional devotional setting, once again surrounded by the stillness of the forest. The Stations of the Cross were designed and hand carved on redwood plaques by the Sisters of Benet Hill during the 1960’s. The 14 stations hang on individual pines trees throughout a wooded area next to the community’s cemetery.
This beautiful stone Grotto which sits upon a rocky knoll in the pine forest was constructed by Nancy Walter, a past volunteer and friend of the sisters.
Take a meditative walk, an archetypal journey to assist you on your journey to inner peace and understanding. During the Middle Ages, when it was not possible to complete a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Christians used the labyrinth to fulfill their obligation. A labyrinth has only one path into the center and back out. Our outdoor labyrinth incorporates the Ponderosa pines and the undulating forest floor. Allow 30 – 60 minutes to walk the labyrinth. Let it nurture your relationship with your God, with yourself, and with others.
On July 15, 2000, friends, oblates, family, community and retreatants gathered to joyfully and prayerfully build the labyrinth. In September 2000, the labyrinth was dedicated in memory of Becky Reichardt, a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and faithful friend to the Benedictine Sisters.
Meditate on the beauty and wonder of creation in the ZEN garden. Oriental Zen gardens are places set apart, places to appreciate the wonders of everyday things, places to liberate the imagination, places to nourish the soul, places to be in touch with our Creator. More than 600 years ago, the Zen priest-gardeners of Japan developed simple techniques to create visually stimulating outdoor environments that are also oases of peace and serenity.
The Zen garden was the first meditative site developed at Benet Pines and was dedicated to Sister Mary Agnes McPhee. Prior to her death, Sister Mary Agnes spent her days on earth at Benet Pines tending to the needs of retreatants, and her own community and monastic spirit. Her life was devoted to goodness and walking lightly, as the plaque on the boulder within the garden suggests.
St. Benedict's Cemetery
After prayerfully walking the Stations of the Cross, stop a moment in the cemetery to quietly reflect in the presence of our foremothers.
Benet Hill Monastery
The following spaces are available to individual retreatants to pray in when they are on retreat and are not in use by other groups.
- Our Lady of Peace Chapel
- Spirit of Wisdom Oratory
- Blessed Sacrament Chapel