Perfect Rest Stop Found At Holy Trinity Monastery
Traveling through Southwestern Arizona, there's a perfect place to take a stretch-your-legs respite.
While driving along Highway 80, you will pass through a sleepy little town called St David, so small that is easy to drive right though without really seeing it. You might notice the tiny building with a barber pole in front and a small sign that sayís OPEN, Wednesday and Friday. As you reach the outskirts of town you may notice a giant 70-foot Celtic cross. If you are a curious sort as I, that should grab your attention. At the next road, you will turn toward the cross. After losing sight of it for a moment you will emerge from a cluster of trees to see the cross once again, in front of a parking lot. You have just arrived at the Holy Trinity Monastery.
This is not an old monastery sitting here for a 100 years full of history. No, this is a rather new monastery. In 1974 a request by Bishop Francis J Green was made for a spiritual Christian Renewal Center to be established in Cochise County. In December of that year, ground was broken for our Lady of Guadalupe Church.
Today Holy Trinity Monastery is a unique community with monks, sisters, and residential Oblates (lay people) living on the grounds. They have built a wonderful serene and beautiful place for one to sit and just be.
The ground sits along the San Pedro River and contains a pecan orchard providing a large yearly crop to be sold. There is a 1.5 mile bird sanctuary wandering through the 148 acre property. The 70-foot Celtic cross was donated to the monastery in 1996 along with a relic of the true pectoral Cross of Pope Pius IX and it is displayed in the window at the east base of the cross. The grounds, attractive as they are at present are still a work in progress. The unique fences and gates impressed me the most.
It was so pleasant, just to walk through the gardens and hear the silence, feel the tranquility, truly worth the time it takes to make this rejuvenating rest stop from your driving schedule.
The Church, Our Lady of Guadalupe was built by hand with damp dirt, tamped inside wooden frames made in 6 foot high sections and then covered with plaster. If one looks close enough you can see the lines marking each section. The small composed little church was dedicated in June of 1981.
Not all who come here just want to stretch their legs. Those wishing to make a retreat as a single or a group retreat can make arrangements to stay in the Monastery 's very simple accommodations where simple meals are included, or in the RV park. All guests of the Monastery, single or groups are expected to participate in the tradition of monastic retreats which exercises silence, solitude, simple living, community and personal prayer. The Benedictine Rule is followed at Holy Trinity Monastery.
I talked with a man, who like many others from all over the world, come and park their own RVís in the monastery RV parking space in return for their labor, like yard work, building fences etc. He gives a set amount of time each year and loves doing it and he couldnít find a more pleasant place to be.
The Monastery holds two, two day fund raising events each year. One on Motherís Day weekend, La Fiesta primavera and Festival of Arts the second weekend in November.
Near the Cross is a gift shop and bookstore, including a restroom. The shop has many hand made items for sale. The next time I am driving down Hwy 80 through St David I will be sure to stop again to see what is new and experience the tranquility again.
For those wishing to make a retreat to this lovely place, the Guest Coordinator for Holy Trinity Monastery can be reached at
520-720-4616 ext 17.
Bobbie Green grew up in southern California. She is a member of the North American Travel Journalist Association. She is a freelance writer and has been published in various Senior Wire Publications, The Desert Valley Times, Nevada Magazine, Mesquite Local.com, Travel World International, and Leisuretravelreports.com. Besides enjoying her love of travel by doing it as often as she can, she enjoys photography and attends numerous travel trade functions. Presently she is enjoying desert living in Mesquite Nevada.