Frequently Asked Questions About the Monastery

How old is the monastery building?

The stone structure was dedicated in 1924. The brick annex was added in 1949.

How many sisters are there?

There are 44 sisters in this community, plus two in formation. There are 75 oblates and 25 employees closely connected to the community, plus more than 30 volunteers each year. The community is growing in new ways. Learn more…

How do you become a sister?

The process to become a fully professed sister involves four steps and takes at least seven years. (Affiliate, Postulant, Novice, First Profession and Final Profession) Learn more…

Why don’t the sisters wear habits?

In the move to get back to their roots, as instructed by the Second Vatican Council in Rome in the 1960s, this community decided to observe St. Benedict’s instructions to dress “according to the conditions and the climate.” The traditional long habits and headgear were carryovers from garments worn by European women hundreds of years ago. Learn more about our history…

Can we go inside the monastery?

The chapel is open most of the time and we invite you to go in. The rest of the monastery is the sisters’ home and not open to the public.

Can we get a tour of the chapel?

The chapel is open most of the time and there are pamphlets inside each of the doors that will direct you on a self-guided tour. With some advance notice, we can arrange a sister-guided tour. Please inquire at the Welcome Center or call 208-962-3224.

Can anyone go to Mass or prayer?

Yes. Mass is at 11:30 (Tuesdays and Saturdays are Midday Praise at 11:40 a.m.) Evening Prayer is at 5:00 (6:30 on Saturdays). Sometimes the schedule changes; you can verify at 208-962- 3224. Please arrive at least 5 minutes early.

What kind of rock is the monastery made of?

The original stone part of the building is built of blue porphyry that was quarried on the hill behind the monastery.

Can we walk around and go up the hill?

Yes. You may also drive up the hill as far as the cemetery, if you wish.

Who was St. Gertrude?

Gertrude was a 13th century German Benedictine nun who was a writer and visionary. Learn more…

What is Spirit Center?

Spirit Center is a retreat facility. If you would like to go inside, an attendant at the Welcome Center will call to see if anyone is available to show you around. Learn more…

What is the Inn?

The Inn is a bed and breakfast. If you would like to take a tour, an attendant at the Welcome Center will call to see if anyone is available to show you around. Learn more…

We’d like to stay at the Inn tonight. Can we check in here?
Please call the Innkeeper, (208) 451-4321, to see if she has a room available tonight.

Why is it called a monastery? Aren’t monasteries for monks?

Men and women who are members of religious orders focused on prayer and service and living in community are called monastics and live in monasteries.

It’s lunchtime. Can I eat with the sisters?

We’d love to have you, but we’re not set up for drop-in guests. An attendant at the Welcome Center can tell you about restaurants in the area.