10 Must-Visit Monasteries In Pennsylvania, USA

monasteries in pa
| 6 min read

Located in the Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, Pennsylvania has all the elements for an unforgettable getaway experience one can treasure in their wandering life. With fun theme parks, interactive museums, and cultural and natural attractions, this US state offers a wide array of things to do all year round. Discover a number of beautiful architecture in Philadelphia, learn about the historic town of Gettysburg, and witness the famous lake of Lake Erie surrounded by a natural beauty that is second to none. Accommodations such as secluded cabins and romantic hotels in Pennsylvania are available as well. Whether you’re planning a long road trip across the state or just need a short escape from your daily life routine, it’s best to say a little prayer and ask for guidance for a safe journey once in a while. To have the perfect experience while exploring the Keystone State and to improve your spiritual health, check out these must-visit monasteries in Pennsylvania, USA.

1. Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Take some time for a moment of reflection between your busy schedule and visit this beautiful chapel with a monastery. It was established by a Romanian princess and it is now run by hospitable nuns. Explore the grounds of the place, which is nestled on the hills, and you will find yourself surrounded by lush greens and a lovely garden that is especially stunning during the summer months. Yuletide season, Holy Week, and The Feast of the Transfiguration That happens every August are some of the best times to attend the services and celebrations in the monastery. You will be anointed with holy oil after praying together with the resident nuns, making it the perfect experience for your spiritual retreat.

Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration

Address: 321 Monastery Ln, Ellwood City, PA 16117, United States

Website: Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration

Price: Free

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2. The Monastery of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

St Tikhon Monastery 3
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Nina Нина used under CC BY 1.0

Considered as the oldest Orthodox monastery in America, this institution offers guesthouses for visitors who wish to enjoy the weekends while learning about its rich history and the attached seminary. Situated in the hills of Wayne County, you will be welcomed by the kind abbot who will tour you around the holy ground, the monastery church, and the museum while sharing knowledge about this spiritual treasure. For some souvenirs, visit their bookstore or check out their coffee shop which is famous for brewing the Burning Bush Coffee. Though the bookstore is open daily to the general public, joining the walking tour requires advance notice so make sure to email the monastery beforehand.

The Monastery of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

Address: 175 St Tikhons Rd, Waymart, PA 18472, United States

Website: The Monastery of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 6am - 7pm; Sat - Sun: 8am - 7pm

Price: Free

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3. St. John The Beloved Monastery Patmos

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by St John Patmos Monastery on Friday, April 18, 2014

Worship God and feel the love of humanity as you visit this religious institution that offers a quiet place to find peace, holiness, and solitude. It is situated in the very heart of the Pocono Mountains, one of the best places to go on vacation in Pennsylvania. Pious visitors are allowed to enter the holy grounds or to stay overnight to experience life in the monastery. Be amazed by its beautiful architecture that gives a glimpse of how ancient churches looked like. You will be welcomed by a modest priest who will serve breakfast, and you will also get to work in the kitchen and play with the kids. Make sure to secure a visiting grant and follow the guidelines that must be observed such as bringing your personal bed sheets and towels during retreats.

St. John The Beloved Monastery Patmos

Address: 106 Patmos Dr, Canadensis, PA 18325, United States

Website: St. John the Beloved Monastery Patmos

Opening hours: Wed & Fri: 9:30am - 11:30am; Sat - Sun: 9:30am - 11:30pm (closed on Mon, Tue & Thu)

Price: Free

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4. St. Vincent Archabbey

St. Vincent Archabbey Basilica
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jcs7708 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located in Westmoreland County, this institution is considered the oldest Benedictine monastery in the United States that actively nurtures the spiritual life of many individuals. Renew your faith as you explore its holy grounds filled with luscious gardens, beautiful buildings, and knowledgeable Benedictines who know interesting local history. Say a prayer and attend a mass in Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica before visiting Saint Vincent Parish Center where you can find the Basilica Gift Shop for some souvenirs. If you have a day or two to spare, join weekend retreats organized for spiritual renewal which includes private accommodation, clean towels, and all meals.

St. Vincent Archabbey

Address: 300 Fraser Purchase Rd, Latrobe, PA 15650, United States

Website: St. Vincent Archabbey

Price: Free

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5. Nativity of the Theotokos Monastery

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Considered as the first Greek Orthodox women’s monastery in America, this religious institution situated in a pastoral environment of Saxonburg offers a very peaceful and quiet place to worship our creator. Find the love of Christ amongst monastic sisters while feasting your eyes on the tranquil views of the area covered with lush Bermuda grass and dense forest nearby. For souvenirs and other memorabilia, feel free to visit the gift shop in the guest dining area filled with various products such as baskets, jewelry, and ecclesiastical items, most of which are made by the sisters. Receive a blessing to visit before stopping by. Complying with the rules and regulations is expected of all visitors and those attending services.

Nativity of the Theotokos Monastery

Address: 121 St Elias Ln, Saxonburg, PA 16056, United States

Website: Nativity of the Theotokos

Opening hours: 6am - 7pm (daily)

Price: Free

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6. Carmelite Monastery of Philadelphia

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Mass at the Carmelite Monastery is now open to the public Monday thru Friday at 7:00am, as well as Saturday and Sunday at 8:00am.

Posted by The Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Philadelphia on Sunday, August 20, 2017

Built in the early 1900s, this monastery is home to the Discalced Carmelite nuns who have dedicated their lives to praying for the good of others. Treat your ears to chanting music as the Carmelite nuns sing their prayers while celebrating the mass behind the altar. The medieval-looking Chapel of the Holy Spirit appears to have remained unaffected architecturally, complemented with stunning stained glass windows, paintings, and sculptures. To complete your visit, enjoy the spiritual fellowship that you will encounter while attending the Extraordinary Mass that is carried out in a sacred and mystical way.

Carmelite Monastery of Philadelphia

Address: 1400 66th Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19126

Website: Carmelite Monastery of Philadelphia

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 12pm; Sun: 8am - 3pm

Price: Free

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7. Poor Clares of the Franciscan Monastery of Saint Clare Langhorne

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Feel closer to a higher power as you step on the sacred ground of this joy-filled community nestled on 17 acres (6.9 hectares) of land in Langhorne in Bucks County. In the chapel, which is open every day, one can admire the beautiful stained glass window of St. Clare together with the founding nuns before or after the daily mass or the evening liturgy. The calming sanctuary is made out of glass overlooking a Zen garden suitable for a prayerful lifestyle that visitors will experience once they arrive. To support the sisters in their daily life, you can offer donations so they can continue the altar bread and burial shroud-making for the Secular Franciscan Order.

Poor Clares of the Franciscan Monastery of Saint Clare Langhorne

Address: 1271 Newtown-Langhorne Rd, Langhorne, PA 19047, United States

Website: Poor Clares of the Franciscan Monastery of Saint Clare Langhorne

Opening hours: 5:30am - 5:30pm (daily)

Price: Free

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8. Benedictine Sisters of Erie

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Red and blue in beautiful harmony - probably a life lesson in there somewhere...

Posted by Benedictine Sisters of Erie on Thursday, November 5, 2020

Escape from the chaos of life and have a personal retreat in this religious institution situated in the wooded meadows of Lake Erie, one of the most gorgeous lakes in Pennsylvania. It is run by a welcoming and friendly community of women monastics. Experience the Benedictine hospitality as you explore the beautiful landscape and the intimate chapel adorned with stained glass windows. As this monastery offers spiritual break, one can enjoy the different ways and places to interact with nature while admiring the modern design of its architecture accompanied by the sound of a slow trickling fountain. Don’t forget to submit a guest reservation request if you wish to stay longer and you can offer donations to help the community.

Benedictine Sisters of Erie

Address: 6101 E Lake Rd, Erie, PA 16511, United States

Website: Benedictine Sisters of Erie

Price: Free

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9. Blue Mountain Zendo

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

There will be zazen tonight from 6:30-8:00pm in Bethlehem.

Posted by Blue Mountain Zendo Koryu-ji on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Nestled in the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania, this traditional Rinzai Zen Buddhist temple is a religious institution that teaches Japanese meditation and the philosophy of Buddhism. Bring peace to your restless heart and mind while engaging in a long period of silence, chanting, and uninterrupted walking meditation. Whether you’re a beginner in these practices or familiar with some Zen instruction, you’re free to choose the length and type of activities that you can join depending on your abilities and needs. Wearing loose and comfortable clothing is highly recommended in every session and observing silence upon entering is a must to avoid distracting other students.

Blue Mountain Zendo

Address: 4116 Bath Pike, Bethlehem, PA 18017, United States

Website: Blue Mountain Zendo

Opening hours: Sun: 3pm - 6pm; Tue: 7pm - 8:30pm (closed on Mon & Wed - Sat)

Price: Free

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10. The Jinyin Temple of Sino Esoteric Buddhism

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Situated in a 36-acre (14.6 hectares) land property, this temple is a place of worship for Sino Esoteric Buddhism, which is dedicated to spreading the spirit of loving-kindness, having compassion, and promoting world peace. Filled with golden and bronze sculptures, this is the perfect place where one can calm themselves while learning the words of wisdom in a sacred arrangement of the Buddha, Bodhisattvas, and God. Everyone can visit the site and exhibits, have prayers, and exchange lessons about Buddhism and Dharma in a way that is different from traditional churches and shrines. Aside from these functional areas, there are also classrooms used for different classes including music, yoga, and calligraphy, which are all provided free to the public.

Jinyin Temple

Address: 1 Fernwood Ln, East Stroudsburg, PA 18302, United States

Website: Jinyin Temple

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9:30am - 4pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Free

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Enjoy a pilgrimage tour in Pennsylvania

Before or after completing any of your trips, devoting a large portion of your itinerary to visiting a religious institution is a unique experience for your wellbeing. A visit to monasteries can give you a chance to know the depth of your faith and witness the spiritual way of life of others. Whatever your religion may be, nurture your bond to our Creator as you spend time in any of these must-visit monasteries to visit in Pennsylvania, USA, anytime during your stay.

Don’t forget to check out some lakefront cabins and bed and breakfasts in Pennsylvania for your accommodation needs.

Editor’s Note: Due to Covid-19, the business hours of the monasteries may differ from the stated timings in this article. Please be sure to check the updated hours from the websites.

Traveler's tips

"Good Saint Anne, Pray Mother Dear" Calvary Cem Lourdes Grotto; Blessing of Water

None of them hear beat Mount Saint Macrina, the shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and home of the Sisters of St. Basil the Great. Thousands visit here every year.  Most return on a regular basis.  There is so much to do on the mount.

 500 W. Main Street, Uniontown PA.   Pilgrimage takes place yearly, Labor Day weekend.  Family Camping on site, shrines, grotto, candlelight processions, anointing of the sick, processions, Liturgies.  There are many shrines and things to do.  This is absolutely the best pilgrimage site in Pennsylvania. 

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An outdoor enthusiast who treats the summits and pristine beaches of the Philippines as her protected playground, Angelyn is used to traveling on a budget and is a certified travel deal hunter for...Read more

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