A Guide to Lodgings in Monasteries, Abbeys, and Retreats

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Over the last few years Marcia and Jack Kelly took a meandering driving trip from New York to California. Experienced travelers, they sought out unusual places to stay. They were surprised and delighted to discover that many monasteries had rooms for guests. They were drawn to the beautiful settings, simple, clean accommodations, and spiritually motivated communities. After returning to New York they proposed a guidebook that would describe these places so others could experience these wonderful retreats. Thus the Sanctuaries series was born, published by Bell Tower/Crown and selling steadily since first publication. Letters from visitors and monasteries alike praise the dissemination of this information. Since there is no obligation to attend services, many people visit for a quiet getaway.

From the Introduction: "The places that have chosen a ministry of hospitality offer it with a spirit of openness and warmth, and welcome people of all faiths. We stayed in everything from a seaside estate with exquisite tropical gardens to a place that offered simple cabins in the woods, reached only by a swaying rope bridge. Accommodations ranged from a beautiful suite with private bath to a plain hut in the New Mexico mountains heated by a woodstove, with an outhouse 70 yards down a snow-covered path.

What an opportunity this provides for a time apart (some visitors say they feel a sense of peacefulness as they enter the grounds) and a time to think about and practice our best values on a daily basis before taking them back to our "regular" lives. Though we visited places of many faiths, we found that loving kindness was a language all had in common, reason enough to visit these special places."

Sanctuaries: A Guide to Lodgings in Monasteries, Abbeys, and Retreats of the United States (updated 2010)

As the pace of life quickens and people feel depleted physically, emotionally, and spiritually, going on retreat to recuperate and regenerate has become a common practice. The quiet and seclusion of a monastery, abbey, or retreat center provide the time, space, and conditions for the mind and heart to come to stillness. This volume features essays on 127 such places, which the Kellys have visited. In addition, there are over 1,000 listings of other places not visited. Many are Catholic or Episcopalian, but there are also Buddhist, Hindu, Sufi, and even Jewish havens, and a few that have no religious affiliation, in every state of the union, where it is possible to find refuge, peace, and true refreshment.

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100 Graces : Mealtime Blessings  [Paperback]

An inspirational anthology of one hundred mealtime blessings presents prayers and graces representing a wide range of religious traditions--including Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, and Native American--all rendered in beautiful calligraphic script.

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Heavenly Feasts: Memorable Meals from Monasteries, Abbeys, and Retreats [Paperback]

While people often think of monks subsisting on a diet of bread, water, and thin gruel, the reality today is very different. While researching their Sanctuaries guides, Marcia Kelly and her husband Jack, visited more than 250 monasteries, abbeys and retreat centers in the United States, and discovered much delicious food from these monastery kitchens. This book features thirty-nine celestial menus including breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and many, can we say sinful, desserts. Begin the day indulgently, with cheese grits and sour cream-cinnamon coffee cake, and end with a monks meal of corn chowder and homemade bread, fresh from the oven.

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The Whole Heaven Catalog: A Resource Guide to Products, Services, Arts, Crafts & Festivals of Religious, Spiritual & Cooperative Communities

Here is an irresistible illustrated compendium of products and services that can be purchased as gifts from more than 250 religious, spiritual, and cooperative communities. Includes a description of each community, an explanation of why and how it makes what it does, and often an anecdote about its history--together with its address; phone and fax numbers; E-mail address and Web site; plus a listing of all the available products and information on whether there is a gift shop or catalog. With this book you will be able to buy all the wonderful things produced by the artists, writers, cooks, farmers, weavers, potters, and other visionaries who live in these secluded places, in addition to supporting them in their endeavors.

About the Authors
Jack and Marcia Kelly are writers who live in New York. Over the years they have chosen monasteries and retreats as stopping places in their travels. So far they have visited over 250 of them and their books are a result of those happy sojourns.

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