The Cistercian Monastery of the Holy Spirit – Conyers, Georgia

Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Georgia 212, Conyers, Georgia, Združene države Amerike

Website of the Sanctuary

+1 770 483 8705

Every day: 4.00 am to 8.00 pm

The Monastery of the Holy Spirit

The Monastery of the Holy Spirit is a community of more than 40 monks spanning several generations, who live, work and pray together.

Here dwells a community where the age difference between the newest entrance and the most senior monk, Fr. Luke Kot, is 75 years of monastic life. In such a ‘city’ the sons reap the benefits of their elders’ lived experiences and wisdom.

Once the monk has given his ‘Yes’ to the Lord’s invitation to a life in which God is preferred before all else, he finds in the monastery a setting in which everything is structured to enkindle remembrance of God.

The Cistercian Monastery of the Holy Spirit - Conyers, Georgia

The monastic practices foster an awareness of Christ’s presence, the deep, abiding sense of His delightful companionship and His will to continue the work of the Father in us. The deep joy and peace experienced are the fruits of this friendship that overflows into the communal life he shares with his brothers.

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The Abbey Church

Architecture reflects lifestyle. Monks were among the first groups to consciously form their environment in order to further their chosen mode of life.

Cistercians were especially gifted in this regard. The simple and unique stained glass displayed throughout Abbey Church at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit are sure to give visitors an inside look into the nature of the Cistercian lifestyle.

The Abbey Church was first planned by Dom Frederic and was designed to be a complete copy of the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, Kentucky. At first, the war effort prevented construction of “non-essential” buildings and execution of Frederic’s plan was halted.

Years later when construction on a church finally seemed feasible, the Conyers’ community decided on a new approach. A copy of Gethsemani was no longer their vision, replaced by the idea for a structure that would serve as a statement of Catholicism in rural Georgia.

The Cistercian Monastery of the Holy Spirit - Conyers, Georgia

As construction progressed, modifications were made to reflect the character of the community of monks at the Monastery. Concerned that the architect lacked insight into the nature of their life, the community worked to affect changes that would better echo the Cistercian lifestyle.

Avoiding intricate gothic detail work, the church became a blend of clean lines clearly expressing the monk’s vision.

Alterations to the church’s design were further determined by the composition of the growing monastic community. Conyers had gifted men who had studied art history, architecture, and sculpture before entering the monastery among its members, and their insights influenced the building process.

Thus, the final product was truly the result of the community’s work and was a visual expression of its values.

The stained glass work of the Church reflects the intersection of original Cistercian ideals with the modern era, a successful blend of innovative and convention. Each piece is handcrafted by fellow Monks at the Monastery, showcasing their talent and individual expression.

The Cistercian Monastery of the Holy Spirit - Conyers, Georgia

History

In 1944, 21 Trappist monks departed Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky to found a monastery in the wilderness of rural Georgia. They arrived in Conyers – an unknown place with a small Catholic presence– with the desire to form a new community devoted to God’s word.

Together they built the magnificent Abbey Church, a massive concrete structure that took 15 years to complete, as well as many of the other buildings that stand on our grounds today. Guided by faith, they labored out of love for their new home, the Monastery of the Holy Spirit.

Before they completed the church, the Gethsemani monks lived in a barn on old Honey Creek Plantation nearby.

The Cistercian Monastery of the Holy Spirit - Conyers, Georgia

At the time, the roads leading to it were covered with red Georgia clay and Atlanta was a relatively small southern town that seemed far away. The diocese was centered in Savannah, and the Catholic population of Georgia consisted of just one family residing in Rockdale County.

Over the course of its history, the monastery has lived through seasons of death and new beginnings, seasons of change and perseverance; seasons of joy and sorrow.

From Atlanta on I-20 East
Head East on I-20 E toward Exit 71
Take exit 71 to Panola Road
Turn right on Panola Road (.2 miles)
Proceed 2.3 miles to Browns Mill Rd/GA-212 E, turn left
Continue to follow GA-212 E to monastery (9.8 miles)
Monastery entrance is on the left

From Florida, traveling north on I-75
Take exit 216 and turn left onto Hwy 155.
At downtown McDonough, continue straight onto Hwy 20 and continue for 11 miles; then left onto Hwy 212 (Kinnet Rd.)
Immediately after turning left onto Hwy 212, See CONSTRUCTION Detour Alert

From Augusta traveling West on I-20
Exit at Hwy 138 (exit #82). Left on Hwy 138.
Continue (1.3 miles) 138 turns right.
Proceed 4.2 miles to Hwy 212, turn left.
Continue 2.7 miles to monastery entrance on the left.

The following prayer services are in the monastery church and open to the public.

Times of Prayer all week including Sunday

  • 4:00 am – Vigils
  • 7:00 am – Lauds (Morning Prayer) and Community Mass
  • 12:15 pm – Midday Prayer
  • 5:20 pm – Vespers (Evening Prayer)
  • 7:30 pm – Compline (Night Prayer)

The Abbey Church

Architecture reflects lifestyle. Monks were among the first groups to consciously form their environment in order to further their chosen mode of life. Cistercians were especially gifted in this regard. The simple and unique stained glass displayed throughout Abbey Church at the Monastery are sure to give visitors an inside look into the nature of the Cistercian lifestyle.

The Abbey Church was first planned by Dom Frederic and was designed to be a complete copy of the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, Kentucky. At first, the war effort prevented construction of “non-essential” buildings and execution of Frederic’s plan was halted. Years later when construction on a church finally seemed feasible, the Conyers’ community decided on a new approach. A copy of Gethsemani was no longer their vision, replaced by the idea for a structure that would serve as a statement of Catholicism in rural Georgia.

As construction progressed, modifications were made to reflect the character of the community of monks at the Monastery. Concerned that the architect lacked insight into the nature of their life, the community worked to affect changes that would better echo the Cistercian lifestyle. Avoiding intricate gothic detail work, the church became a blend of clean lines clearly expressing the monk’s vision.

Alterations to the church’s design were further determined by the composition of the growing monastic community. Conyers had gifted men who had studied art history, architecture, and sculpture before entering the monastery among its members, and their insights influenced the building process. Thus, the final product was truly the result of the community’s work and was a visual expression of its values.

The stained glass work of the Church reflects the intersection of original Cistercian ideals with the modern era, a successful blend of innovative and convention. Each piece is handcrafted by fellow Monks at the Monastery, showcasing their talent and individual expression.

Historical Background

In 1944, 21 Trappist monks departed Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky to found a monastery in the wilderness of rural Georgia. They arrived in Conyers – an unknown place with a small Catholic presence– with the desire to form a new community devoted to God’s word.

Together they built the magnificent Abbey Church, a massive concrete structure that took 15 years to complete, as well as many of the other buildings that stand on our grounds today. Guided by faith, they labored out of love for their new home, the Monastery of the Holy Spirit.

Before they completed the church, the Gethsemani monks lived in a barn on old Honey Creek Plantation nearby. At the time, the roads leading to it were covered with red Georgia clay and Atlanta was a relatively small southern town that seemed far away. The diocese was centered in Savannah, and the Catholic population of Georgia consisted of just one family residing in Rockdale County.

Over the course of its history, the monastery has lived through seasons of death and new beginnings, seasons of change and perseverance; seasons of joy and sorrow.

Posted in North America and United States