• Abbey of the Genesee
  • The Abbey of the Genesee Welcomes Everyone
  • Abstract Stained Glass and Bold Rounded Rocks in the Abbey of the Genesee
  • The Abbey of the Genesee in upstate New York (Lori Erickson photo)

The Genesee Diary


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The church is a breathtaking vision in simplicity, inviting the traveler to rest in solitude and prayer. In our all too brief visit, we caught only a glimpse of the fascinating retreat that is the Abbey of the Genesee.


The Abbey of the Genesee New York

During his seven-month stay in a Trappist monastery, Henri Nouwen had a unique opportunity to explore crucial issues of the spiritual life and discover "a quiet stream underneath the fluctuating affirmations and rejections of my little world." Nouwen participated fully in the daily life of the Abbey of the Genesee in upstate New York -- in work and in prayer. From the early weeks in the abbey -- dominated by conflicting desires and concerns -- to the final days of Advent, when he finds a new sense of calm expectation, Nouwen never loses his critical honesty. Insightful, compassionate, often humorous, always realistic, is both an inspiration and a challenge to those who are in search of themselves.

" beautifully lifts the heart and mind to God."
--"This is an extraordinary account of a man seeking inner peace and total commitment to God... a fine portrait of cloistered life, a beautifully written account of one man's soul-searching."