This cozy little monastery is a beautiful and peaceful sanctuary down town Mobile, AL.
The story of how we came to know this place is a rather lovely one, and is thanks to one grandmother who was thinking of joining the convent. Becoming a nun was always a dream of hers. She grew up a cradle Catholic and as a teenager, she attended a monastery retreat in hoping that this would be the next step of her life. Turned out it wasn’t as planned and she moved on living her life attending Mass. Occasionally she would talk about it from time to time but it wasn’t until after my great, grandmother passed did she really peruse the life of a nun. It was while making a few phone calls to other monasteries that her southern charm called her to try the historical Visitation Monastery… (I did not realize this but if you are considering on joining a convent, it comes with a few rules you have to abide by) My grandmother met all the expectations. Clearly, joining a convent is something that takes time, a lot of prayers and many retreats to make sure your heart is calling for a prayerful lifestyle.
- Attend a silent retreat at the scared heart retreat house for one week.
This was no problem for her as she has attended many silent retreats back in our home state. She shared her story of her first week and said, “The weather was so bad one night that I thought Satan himself was coming to get me in the middle of the night”. She began to describe the sound and said she held the feet of a Saint Joseph statue. Later that early morning, it was just an old shutter flapping in the strong wind of the storm.
- Attend a two-week retreat and be able to interact more with the nuns. Follow their league to their prayer life.
This was a little harder than she anticipated. She had to follow a very tight schedule in the life of a nun. The schedule followed … 5am wakeup call until 10pm lights out. Which included personal prayers, morning Mass, adoration, Eucharist, and liturgy, mid-day prayers, and late afternoon prayers, spiritual readings, community, and helping others are just a few examples. Getting to know each nun personally was so refreshing to my grandmother. She found out that one nun had the same number of children as she did and had one child in Heaven. The little nun danced around in her Habit and told her how much she would enjoy Sundays at the convent. She said, “On Sundays we get an ice cream bar”. What simple and genuine love to be place around holiness.
And don’t just think nuns pray every second, they actually work as a service to one another. In this particular monastery, they make a very sweet treat called, “Heavenly Hash”. It’s a wonderful fudge that is mixed with marshmallows and nuts. It reminds me of a rockyroad Christmas fudge. So delightful. You can purchase this at their gift shop. Which, I highly recommend. The nuns also have a time for leisure and recreation together. Remember this quote “on Sundays we get an ice cream bar” this is part of the leisurely time to share humor and happiness in one another. Lastly, is time for their own tranquilly and silence so that they may retain a spirit of recollection of GODs presence.
Now of course, you can visit and see your nun if you have one thinking about joining. There is a special room for family and friends when you come.
Nun and nunner,