Participate: Exploring the Benedictine Way

Exploring the Benedictine Way

New Ways to Be Monastic

At the Monastery of St. Gertrude we share the Benedictine charism: a way of life, seeking God in community. This means that all aspects of our lives flow from this commitment to Benedictine spirituality.  We are committed to values and practices of prayer, community, service, hospitality as a way of transforming ourselves and our world.

We are a community of professed sisters who are partnering with lay people to explore new ways to enable people to live Benedictine spirituality in their lives. We have established programs that help people explore and live Benedictine life apart from traditional, professed monastic life. 

Some of our established programs include:

benedictine Volunteers

The Monastery of St. Gertrude offers many opportunities to our volunteers to serve in our monastic community. St. Gertrude’s invites monastery volunteers to live within our spiritual community, assist on a regular basis with ministry tasks and community support, or help with special, monastic community projects.

oblate community

Oblates are men and women, married or single, active in any Christian denomination, who closely associate themselves with the Monastery of St. Gertrude through an initiation process and formal oblation (promise). There are nearly 100 oblates of the Monastery of St. Gertrude, living throughout the Pacific Northwest.

At the Monastery of St. Gertrude, oblates take an active participatory role in areas such as the annual Raspberry Festival, monastery committees, and retreat ministry. Oblates also volunteer where needed – the kitchen, garden, museum, library, monastery offices, and during liturgies.

Artists in residence

The Artist Residency at St. Gertrude is a month-long opportunity for women visual artists, musicians, and writers to spend time with their practices in a monastic setting amidst the Benedictine Sisters of Cottonwood, Idaho. You will live in the Monastery, joining the community in meals and other aspects of community life. You will be provided with studio space and your residency should conclude with an informal presentation of your work to the monastic community. All meals are provided as well as a private room with a private bathroom. There is no fee to apply or participate.

living as a monk in everyday life: a benedictine spirituality cohort

Explore how the Benedictine monastic life can be lived by ordinary people seeking God in their everyday lives. This nine-month cohort program begins with a retreat, followed by nine months of intensive remote instruction and a concluding retreat.

gertrude’s neighbors

Over the last several years a number of volunteers, oblates and employees have intentionally moved to the local area around St. Gertrude’s in order to be closer to the Monastery and to live, work or volunteer there.  The group gathers several times a year for fellowship and formation in Benedictine values and practices.

co-housing project

The Monastery of St. Gertrude is pioneering a new way for women to live Benedictine, monastic life outside of the traditional requirements of Roman Catholic religious life.  The emerging community of the Benedictine Cohousing Companions (BCC) offers women the chance to create a new form of monastic community in the midst of an existing women’s monastery. 


Our employees are extremely dedicated to our mission and find the monastery an excellent place to work. We consider our employees an integral part of our broader monastic community and have very low turnover.  Our employees consider themselves committed to mission and ministry.


Become an Oblate

Cohousing Project


Artists in Residence

About St. Gertrude’s