Reflection, not reaction.

Monastic Immersion Program


So much of life today is spent in reaction mode. A constant barrage of news cycles, notifications, likes, and advertisements interrupts us, asking us to react quickly (and perhaps thoughtlessly) to the latest thing. We move along to an ever increasing drum beat – and so many of us feel beat down by the relentless pace of contemporary life. As we are pushed along from school to university toward a career, there can be little room left for asking big questions, developing a sense of ourselves, or listening to discover a larger purpose.


SSJE's Monastic Immersion program invites you to experience something utterly different: Imagine 9-months paced by the ringing of a chapel bell. Instead of the static and noise of our culture, imagine a day punctuated by silence. In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul writes, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” Such inner transformation is a central aim of the monastic life in the church. As we attend to our conversion in Christ and grow in love for God and one another, we trust that this monastic way is shaping us into deep reservoirs, to be used by the Spirit for the sake of the world’s healing, wholeness, and reconciliation.

We are stewards of an ancient tradition engaged with the contemporary world, its needs, and its hungers. We invite you to journey alongside our community for nine months, to learn practices and skills with enduring value:
Worship. Silence. Stillness. Reflection. Prayer. Discernment. Community. Listening. Hospitality.


“Do you speak monkish?”

If you have ever studied a second language, you’ll know that nothing quite compares with an experience of immersion, in an environment or culture surrounded only by native speakers. At times it can feel overwhelming, but the language comes to life in a whole new way!

Each year we welcome to our "monastic immersion" internship program women and men between the ages of 21-30 who seek to experience the transformative power of intentional living in community as it uniquely unfolds in a monastery. Monastic spirituality receives much attention these days – but nothing quite compares to a period of immersion alongside “native speakers,” i.e. monks!

We believe that these nine months will reshape how you experience our world. We pray that they will empower you to transform it. We know that they will transform you.


In this short video, past Interns share their experience of our life!

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We are now accepting applications for the Fall 2019 Internship in Cambridge.

Each autumn, our community welcomes a small group of young men and women to live alongside our community as monastic interns for a period of nine months. They participate fully in our daily rhythm of prayer and worship and receive formation and guidance as they discern the shape of their Christian vocation. The gifts they bring – personal talents, diverse perspectives, burning questions, unique passions, and gifts of the Holy Spirit – enrich our life together immeasurably. Their hard work alongside us, day by day, also helps make our ministry possible.

If nine months of full and balanced life in a monastic community is an experience that you or someone you know would find worthwhile, we invite you to apply now!


"What a difference these interns make!  Their reliability, their interest, their lively presence, and their humor enrich our lives day by day.  It is so good for the community to have these young people living alongside us.  Our community life would be diminished without them."

Assistant Superior

There’s a really interesting synergy between the interns and the brothers.  Interns bring to us the freshness of a younger generation, an open-eyed curiosity to ask “why,” and a rich personal and academic formation. They meet up with the well-grounded stability and integration of the monastic cadence.  It’s like learning a dance step with a new partner.  Nervous and a little clumsy at first, and then we soar.


"Interns enliven us with their energy and perspective, with their questions and seeking. Learning is mutual in our daily life classroom of worship and hospitality. They’ve nurtured my own conversion. I delight in watching them discover and change."

Guest Brother

"It has become impossible for me to imagine our community’s life without Monastic Immersion interns.  I feel they are vital to our connection with the wider church and the cultural matrix.  Enthusiastic young people, embracing faith and desirous of living it fully, come to us brothers as a wake-up call from Christ to the world as it is now.  Through their participation in and questions/insights about our life, we brothers are collectively and individually challenged both to examine our biases and blind-spots and to renew our faith practice and dedication to ministry."



How can nine months of monastic immersion help prepare you for life?
Read what past interns shared about their experience of the program.

Simeon Bruce

on Thankfulness

Andrew Sinnes

on Showing Up

Hannah Tadros

on Uncertainty

David Anick

on Healing

Tedi Davidson

on Finding Herself

Tim Lawrence

on Intentionality

Seth Woody

on Discipline

Nancy VanderBrink

on Silence

James Dunford

on Family

Waylon Whitley

on Being Loved

Rob Coulston

on Transformation


Who. What. Where. When. How. (And of course, Why!)

Interns are single men and women, age 22-30, who desire a time of vocational discernment, spiritual reflection, or a period of sustained service that is slightly off the beaten path. Up to four Interns live in our monastery Guest House in Cambridge, join the brothers in their daily worship and assist with various aspects of the community’s ministry of hospitality. Interns also engage in robust theological and personal reflection guided by brothers and meet regularly with spiritual directors from the SSJE community.

A personal interest in monastic vows is not a requirement of the program; rather, most interns are interested in how the unique perspectives and practices of monastic spirituality may apply to their lives “in the world.” If you feel you may have interest in discerning a monastic vocation with SSJE, we warmly invite you to visit our Catch the Life website.

Internships are ordinarily from September through May at the Monastery. Participants are provided full room and board, health insurance (if needed) and a monthly allowance of $100 for incidental expenses. Internships are open to both young men and women.

The SSJE’s Monastic Internship Program is a member of the Episcopal Service Corps, a federation of young adult service programs across the United States. To apply to our internship program or to learn about other Internship opportunities, visit the ESC website at:

A Full and Balanced Life, in Community

Interns are ordinarily expected to participate fully in the liturgical life of the Monastery. Regular attendance at services is presumed, and interns assist in liturgical roles as needed. The Daily Office (Morning Prayer, Midday Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline) is sung in traditional monastic style; Interns have assigned places “in choir” near the Brothers and join them for music and other liturgical rehearsals.

Typical daily schedule at the Monastery:

6:00-6:30 Morning Prayer (chapel)
6:30-7:30 Quiet time for prayer, study
8:00-8:30 Eucharist (chapel)
8:30-9:00 Breakfast
9:00-12:30 Work periods, meetings, free time*
12:30-12:50 Midday Prayer (chapel)
12:50-2:00 Midday meal and cleanup
2:00-6:00 Work periods, meetings, free time*
6:00-6:30 Evening Prayer (chapel)
6:30-7:30 Evening meal and cleanup
7:30-8:30 Work periods, meetings, free time*
8:30-8:50 Compline (chapel)
* these blocks of time accommodate work periods, meetings with mentors, classes and gatherings with other Interns, study time, music rehearsals, free time, etc. Work periods are coordinated by the Interns Director and can involve a combination of hospitality work, household and foodservice assistance, gardening, and the SSJE’s ministry to young adults.

Mondays are Sabbath days for both Brothers and Interns. Two weeks may be taken for vacation or other purposes during the program, although all participants are required to be present for Holy Week and Easter.

Each Intern is assigned a single room in Monastery Guesthouse. Rooms are small, similar to the Brothers’ “cells”, and furnished with the basics (bed, linens, dresser, desk, chairs, sink, small closet). Since the Guesthouse is a place of silence and sanctuary for guests on retreat, Interns and Brothers living in the Guesthouse share the responsibility of maintaining quietness, especially when guests are in residence. Personal guests of Interns may be met in the Monastery’s public areas, but not invited into the upper levels of the Guesthouse. The Monastery’s location in Harvard Square provides ample nearby venues for socializing.

The Monastic Internship Program is under the direction of the Interns Director, who oversees Interns’ schedules and coordinates work and study with the Brothers and Monastery employees. Each Intern is assigned a mentor from among the Brothers; Interns meet regularly with their mentors to discuss their experience of life in community, their study, their prayer life and other issues that arise. Interns meet regularly as a group for guided theological reflection and to discuss common concerns. In addition to the weekly Sabbath day (Mondays), Interns have one day each month for retreat.