The Good Retreat Guide Online

Mountains and lake graphic.

Abbaye Saint-Benoît d'En Calcat

We very much like this place for a private individual retreat. Between 60-70 monks live in this abbey while living a life of contemplation and prayer are also involved in many different activities and programmes. The monastery receives everyone and that includes not just the various Christians, but non-believers, the non-Baptized, divorced people and people of other faiths. The monks do not organize retreats themselves but groups do come on retreat here with their own leaders.

It is a highly popular place to visit with visitors through their gates often exceeding 60,000 in a year and more than 4,000 guests are annually received too. This is a hard working community of men who extend a warm welcome and a restful, comfortable, and beautiful place in which to pray, reflect, and be at peace.

Open: 

All year, everyone welcome.

Accommodation: 

Monastery: Male guest only. 15 single rooms with wash basin. Shared showers and toilets on each floor.
Guesthouse: All other guests. 10 single rooms and 13 twin rooms. All rooms have ensuite shower and WC.
La Grange: Intended for self-catering youth groups. 20 beds in two dormitories. 1 single room. Lounge / meeting room. Kitchen. Toilets and bathrooms.

Facilities: 

Library, guest lounge, chapel, choir, meeting rooms. Mobile phones may not be used and silence is encouraged.

Disabled access: 

2 rooms in the guesthouse are equipped for disabled visitors.

Spiritual help: 

Meetings with a monk can be arranged.

Meals: 

Monastery: Meals are taken with the monks.
Guesthouse: Meals are taken, in silence, in a dining room in the monastery but separate from the monks.
La Grange: Self-catering.

Special activities: 

A short programme of events runs in the Guesthouse, see website for details.

Situation: 

A quiet location in the countryside.

Maximum stay: 

Monastery: The first visit is usually not more than 3 days. Subsequent visits up to 1 week.
Guesthouse: 1 week.

Bookings: 

Letter, phone, fax, email.

Charges: 

A donation to cover the costs of your stay plus a little extra to help the monastery receive the unwaged.

Access: 

Car.
Train to: Castres (15 km), Castelnaudary (28 km) or Toulouse-Matabiau (60 km) then taxi.
Bus direct to the monastery.
Plane to: Toulouse-Blagnac (60 km) or Carcassonne (50 km) then taxi.