To Go Walkabout is a rite of passage within the Australian Aboriginal society. It is a spiritual transition of a young boy into a wise man.
Spiritual Travel: Stay with Dominican Nuns in British Columbia
The Order of Dominican Nuns, also known as The Order of Preachers, is an order of the Catholic Church founded in Toulouse, France, by the Spanish priest Saint Dominic from whom the order gets its name. Unlike our typical conception of a monastic order, those of the Dominican order are to interact openly with people, and to live their lives as examples of the apostles of the primitive Church. When it was founded in 1215, the order had two key purposes: to preach the word of God, and the salvation of souls.
As I wrote in my post Are You Ready for Spiritual Travel? Spiritual Travel is the act of seeking out experiences from around the world that will enrich the soul, broaden the mind and further the health and happiness of the traveller. In my book of the same name I say that it is an approach to travel for people who want more from a destination than the well trodden paths of gastronomy, scenery and culture. It is for someone, like me, who seeks to travel to places in a physical sense in order to grow in a spiritual sense.
I have become so engrossed in this style of travel lately that I was motivated to write a whole series of blog posts on the subject and have spent weeks compiling a list of potential destinations that will challenge the body, broaden the mind and enrich the soul.
Interestingly though, it wasn’t in doing research for this topic that I came across this beautiful Spiritual Travel destination. I actually came across the Queen of Peace Monastery while watching a beautiful documentary called This Mountain Life (see below for the trailer). It is a beautiful documentary that follows the stories of various people who are all connected through their love of, and co-existence with, the wild mountains of Canada. Let’s take a closer look at why this unique destination merits its place in my own personal compilation of Spiritual Travel Destinations.
What is The Queen of Peace Monastery?
The Queen of Peace Monastery is located in the Upper Squamish Valley, British Columbia, Canada. Nestled between the Tantalus Mountain Range and Cloudburst Mountain is the community of the Upper Squamish Valley, a rural residential farming area. The Squamish Valley is located in the heart of one of the World’s most scenic drives, halfway between Vancouver and Whistler.
It was founded in 1999 and consecrated to God on the Feast of St. Dominic (August 8) 2012. The monastery is now composed of 12 sisters and candidates aged 27 – 82 who hail from Canada, France and America.
While at the monastery the entire day is called to be a continuous prayer and praise of God. The daily horarium is found below:
The Horarium of the Queen of Peace Monastery?
- 6 am – Matins and Lauds (7 am on Sunday and Solemnities)
- Silent Prayer/Lectio Divina
- 8:30 (am on Weekdays) Mass (10:45 am on Sundays & Solemnities)
- 11:30 am – Midday Prayer and Rosary
- 12 pm – Meal
- 1:30 – 2:30 pm – Profound Silence
- 4:30 pm – Vespers
- Silent Prayer and Eucharistic Adoration
- 6 pm – Meal
- 7 pm – Recreation
- 8 pm – Compline (7 pm on Mondays)
- Profound silence
Why do I Feel That This is a Spiritual Travel Destination?
For me, it reminds me of attending my first Vipassana meditation retreat when I was living in Sydney, Australia and I visited the Blackheath Vipassana center in the Blue Mountains north of Sydney. I recall sitting for hours in silent contemplation while watching the changing weather come across the horizon of the mountainous peaks, the sheer cliffs and the awesome vast beauty that is that region of Australia. It was simple and profound. Not having visited the Queen of Peace Mountain Monastery myself, I can only imagine that I would have a similar experience there.
In addition to this natural beauty, the monastic approach to simple wholesome living is immensely appealing to me as well. As I mention in my other book, Ancient Ways to Live a Modern Life, as a society we are in dire need of reconnecting with our natural world in a physical and spiritual sense.
I must say that as a woman, the element of the sisterhood of the nuns is something that I can only dream to experience. However, at my first possible convenience I will be traveling to this monastery, ideally with my sister, to enjoy some quiet hours reflecting on our individual lives, making peace with our journeys up to this point and solidifying our path and plans for our futures.
- Spiritual Travel: Stay with Dominican Nuns in British ColumbiaThe Order of Dominican Nuns, also known as The Order of Preachers, is an order of the Catholic Church founded in Toulouse, France, by the Spanish priest Saint Dominic from whom the order gets its name. Unlike our typical conception of a monastic order, those of the Dominican order are to interact openly with people,…
- Are You Ready To Go Walkabout in Australia?To Go Walkabout is a rite of passage within the Australian Aboriginal society. It is a spiritual transition of a young boy into a wise man.
- Pack Your Bags and Get Ready for Spiritual TravelSpiritual Travel is the act of seeking out experiences from around the world that will enrich the soul, broaden the mind and further the health and happiness of the traveller.
What do Visitors Say About The Queen of Peace Monastery?
Peaceful Jul 2018 I went to this monastery with a group of ladies. We joined them for their morning prayers. A nun came out and explained things to us. The nuns start out singing the Psalms which is beautiful. After that it seemed to be repetitious prayer over and over. I preferred the singing. Sitting in the chapel the view is fantastic, you have a window scenery of a snow capped mountain, you almost can imagine that Julie Andrews with run up a hill singing the HIlls are Alive. The nuns spend their life in pray and silence. They grow their own organic vegetables. There are at this time 13 of them. Some young ones that come in, they stay three months to see if this is the life they want forever, after three months they can go home and make their decisions. They take turns cooking meals, make a few items to sell in the gift shop downstairs to help support them. These are Dominion Nuns.
Great place to pray Stopped here with my mom to pray. The website said there was afternoon prayer and rosary before lunch at 11:30. Nobody showed up at that time but we prayed anyways. Beautiful views, great gardens, we even saw a Canadian deer! Wish we could have chatted with the sisters but it was a great way to spend the afternoon with my mom when she’s in a wheelchair and it’s too rainy to be outdoors!
If you are interested in visiting the Queen of Peace Monastery please get in direct contact with them to arrange a visit.
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