Historical Background on the Monastery of the Holy Spirit

More than 63 years ago, 21 Trappist monks departed Gethsemani to found a monastery in the wilderness of rural Georgia. These men arrived in Conyers, in an unknown place with a small Catholic presence, to begin a new community devoted to God's word. The community built the magnificent Abbey Church, a massive concrete structure that took 15 years to complete, and many of the buildings that stand on the site today. Guided by faith, they labored out of love for their new home, the Monastery of the Holy Spirit.

The monks who arrived from Gethsemani on March 22, 1944, first lived in a barn on part of the old Honey Creek Plantation in rural Georgia. The roads leading to it were all red Georgia clay and Atlanta, though the state capitol was a relatively small southern town that seemed far away. At that time the diocese was centered in Savannah, and the Catholic population of Georgia was less than 1%, with only one Catholic family residing in Rockdale County.

Over the course of its history, the monastery has lived through seasons of death and new beginnings, seasons of change and perseverance, seasons of joy and sorrow. At present we are embracing a season of renewal as we look toward our future.

Read MORE on the monks arrival in Georgia
Read the complete Historical Background of HSM from the book
“Open to the Spirit" by: Dewey Weiss Kramer

Open to the Spirit

by Dewey Weiss Kramer
Copyright 1986.

I.      Preface
II.     Introduction: A Sense of Place
III.    Historical Background
IV.    The Building Years
V.    The Community
VI.   The Monastic Day
VII.  Ora et Labora: Work at Holy Spirit
VIII. The Abbey Church
IX.    Conclusion
X.     Further Reading
XI.    Photographs and Credits