Abbey   Christ in the Desert

Abbey of Christ in the Desert

juridic titleAbbey
type of monastery 70 monks , 70 lay oblates CongregationEnglish Province (Subl angl)address Abbey of Christ in the Desert
1305 Forest Service Road 151
P.O. Box 270
Abiquiu, NM 87510-0270
GMT offsetGMT-07:00
Telephone The number in parenthesis to be skipped when calling from abroad. +1 (575) 6134233
fax +1 (0419) 8319113
email address
Email of the
code of closest major airport ABQ
closest major city Santa Fe, New Mexico USA (0) (0)
craft work and other products The monks produce leather sandals and belts;
soaps; candles; body care products; sometimes hand-made journal books
otherThe Abbey Church is a listed monument, having been designed by the world famous Japanese-American furniture designer George Nakashima.
patronale feastThe Solemnity of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist (24/24)

Fr. Aelred Wall, OSB, founded the Monastery of Christ in the Desert, Abiquiu, New Mexico, U.S.A., in 1964 with monks of Mount Saviour Monastery in New York state. In 1983 the Monastery of Christ in the Desert was received into the English Province of the Subiaco Congregation as a Conventual Priory and in 1996 became an autonomous abbey.

From its beginning the monastery has followed the Benedictine life with no external apostolates, but maintains a guesthouse for private retreats where men and women can share the Divine Office and Mass in the abbey church with the monks. Besides maintaining the guesthouse, the monks engage in agriculture, craft, maintenance and computer work at the monastery. A gift shop is also part of the monastery's income, which includes a mail-order department of books and other religious items in the gift shop.

Christ in the Desert has two dependent monasteries in Mexico: Nuestra Senor de la Soledad, near San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, and Santa Maria y Todos los Santos, in Texin-Teocelo, Veracruz, as well as a dependent monastery in the USA, Thien Tam, near Kerens, Texas. All of these monasteries likewise observe the Benedictine life without apostolates other than a guesthouse. Monks from Christ in the Desert have helped out in various other monasteries of our Congregation.

The Monastery is situated in a beautiful canyon in northwestern New Mexico, surrounded by miles of government-protected wilderness, thus assuring and promoting solitude and quiet for the coenobitic life. The chief architect of the original monastery was George Nakashima, famous Japanese-American woodworker and architect. The electricity and water-pumping at the monastery is solar-powered, as sunshine is plentiful throughout the year.

The community at Christ in the Desert is comprised at present of men from 15 nations, though English is the language of the house.