FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (F.A.Q.)
- Spiritual Retreats at the charterhouse:
Lay, religious and priests inquire or ask to come for a spiritual retreat at the charterhouse. The answer is that we do not allow such because of the charism and nature of our life of silence and solitude. We permit only vocational retreats, i.e., for those who believe they are called or who are discerning a possible call to the Carthusian life, and only after some preliminary requirements (a questionnaire, two letters of reference, further questions) are satisfied.
- Liturgy Books, Statutes, instruments of penance:
People often ask us if they may copy, borrow or buy our liturgical books, our Statutes and also our instruments of penance (mostly, hairshirt). The answer is that we are not authorized to do so. Only excerpts of the Liturgy are available.
- Tridentine mass or the Ordinary form of the Roman Liturgy?
Do we celebrate the tridentine mass or the Ordinary form of the Roman Liturgy? The answer is that we have our own Carthusian rite. From the very beginning of the Order, the Carthusian rite was evolved from the Lyon rite of the 11th century, through the Grenoble rite.
- Do we chant and do we use Latin?
Yes we use Latin and we sing the Carthusian Chant which is a form of Gregorian chant.
- Is it possible to visit the monastery?
No, it is not possible. No visitors are allowed in a Carthusian monastery.
- Do we accept prayer requests?
Yes, we accept prayer requests sent to us by fax or by email. Prayer requests are always taken to heart but because of our life of silence & solitude, we do not normally acknowledge them.
- Do we accept stipend Masses?
Yes, we accept stipend Masses. You can simply write or email us with the intention for which you want the Mass offered.
We can send
an acknowledgement or receipt to those who request one. Some people who
life of silence and solitude don't request an acknowledgement. Whether
acknowledged or not your request will be honored and taken to heart
Masses can be said for any person, living or deceased, and the
the person(s) and the intention(s) may be mentionned. The donor can
simply send a check to the monastery indicating the number of Masses to
be celebrated "for the intention of the donor." We are sorry to say we do not take credit cards. We follow the diocese's
$10 stipend per mass but less than that (or whatever the donor can
is always honored and fulfilled. An extra amount or donation will also help the needs of the monks for which we are most grateful. If there are more requests for stipend
Masses than we can satisfy in this charterhouse, we send them to our
other needy charterhouses in Europe unless the donor expressly indicated a
PLEASE NOTE that a Gregorian mass is a kind of stipend that can only be offered for the repose of the soul of the deceased and consists of 30 Masses said on 30 consecutive days. By definition, therefore, a Gregorian cannot be offered for persons who are living. Our customary stipend for a Gregorian (30 masses) is currently $300.
The proper payee for stipend and Gregorian Masses, is either "Charterhouse of the Transfiguration" or "Carthusian Foundation in America, Inc." or "Carthusian Monastery", and stipends should be mailed to the monastery's address:
- Do we accept donations?
Yes, we accept donations.
In the Satutes, it is said: We exhort all the Priors of the Order, by the tender love of Jesus Christ, our God and our Savior, who offered himself for us on the cross in total holocaust, that they devote themselves whole-heartedly to almsgiving on as lavish a scale as their resources will permit. Let them be persuaded that whatever is spent or retained in excess is, as it were, a theft from the poor and from the needs of Mother Church. Directing our property in this way towards the common good, we imitate the early Christians among whom none called anything his own, but for whom all things were in common. (St 29.19)
The proper payee for donations, is either "Charterhouse of the Transfiguration" or "Carthusian Foundation in America, Inc.", and donations should be mailed to the monastery's address:
- Communication by telephone:
Out of respect for the monks' silence, we do not communicate by telephone.
We do not eat meat. Perpetual abstinence from meat.
- We do not use the Internet in the charterhouse:
We do not have internet access in this monastery. We limit ourselves to the use of email.
- New converts to Catholicism:
For newly converts, we normally advise to wait for about 3 years during which time they deepen their new-found Catholic faith in various ways normally offered by the parish programs and activities. To live in cell presupposes having already acquired that Catholic sensibility (cogitare et sentire cum ecclesia, etc.) and so forth.
- Applicants below 23 or over 40 years old:
We normally advise applicants below 23 to wait, and if they are in college, to finish their degree; and applicants over 40 are not often admitted as they, in general, are already "formed" and habituated to the ways of the world. See the Vocation page here.
- Is there a monastery for Carthusian nuns in North America?
No, there is no Carthusian foundation here in USA or Canada for our Carthusian nuns as yet and we don't know when that might come to reality. Please contact our nuns in Europe and Korea directly for any other questions and inquiries. You will find in the Contacts section of this site the addresses of the monasteries. You can also download a PDF document about Carthusian nuns which contains the addresses and contact data of all the monasteries for nuns.
- Where to get books, Carthusian-made rosaries, etc.?
For questions about and requests for books, Carthusian-made rosaries, etc., please contact directly our gift shop and Catholic book store, which is at the same time the toll house for the Mount Equinox Skyline Drive. Here is the address:
- First time retreatants sometimes ask for some guiding principle as to the praying of psalms in the charterhouse. Here is something to begin with:
- Do the Carthusians have any customary ejaculatory prayers?
Yes ! Praised be Jesus Christ! In this monastery, those are the first and last words a monk say to another monk when he has permission to speak, and the latter responds, Amen. Or Let us praise the Lord -- And give Him thanks. Other houses use "Benedicite -- Dominus" or Marian greetings: "Ave Maria Purissima.....".