The Monastery of Christ in the Desert is host to a community of Benedictine monks in the magnificent Chama Canyon and was designed by famous designer and woodworker George Nakashima.
Monastery of Christ in the Desert
The drive to the Monastery of Christ in the Desert, located about seventy-five miles north of Santa Fe, takes you through some of the most dramatic scenery in the state of New Mexico. Upon turning off the highway onto the winding dirt road that leads to the Monastery, the gentle sounds of the Chama River and birdsong become audible, an apt prequel to the profound quiet of the monastery.
Founded in 1964, the Monastery of Christ in the Desert is situated in the magnificent Chama Canyon and is host to a community of Benedictine monks. The master architect of the abbey and guesthouse was George Nakashima, the famous designer and woodworker. Nakashima’s signature style which blends traditional Japanese building techniques with American Modernism can be found throughout the grounds, from the delicately framed windows of the chapel to the interior vigas.
You’ll often find the monks cultivating their crops, engaging in crafts, or in prayer. The Benedictine way of life is defined by a commitment to stewardship in addition to prayer, as a matter of practicality, and as a service to their community. As part of this stewardship, the monastery utilizes renewable energy sources and low-impact water usage to support its goal of self-sufficiency.
The monastery welcomes visitors and encourages those who book the guesthouse to participate in monastic activities like prayer, meditation, and manual labor. However, manual labor is capped at three and a half hours—they don’t want you to work too hard!
Forest Rd 151, Abiquiú | christdesert.org