Men & women have
been drawn to the
life of monastic
prayer for centuries.
Within the Christian
tradition Benedict's
  Rule has served as
     one of the major
       models for ...

        Read More

"If you came this way, taking any route, starting from anywhere, at any time or at any season, it would always be the same: you would have to put off sense and notion. You are not here to verify, instruct yourself, or inform curiosity or carry report. You are here to kneel where prayer has been valid".
T S Eliot - from Little Gidding

"All guests are to be received as Christ ... "

The monastery is a house of the Order of the Holy Cross – an Anglican Benedictine community of men. Individuals and groups may come for a retreat throughout the year. There is a reasonable charge for staying with us, but no one has ever been turned away for the lack of ability to pay.

Three guest houses sit on about 50 hectares of hillside. Paths for walking are cleared and you can meander through the beauty of the Eastern Cape. Bird life is varied and abounding.

The monks pray the Divine Office five times a day, to which the public is invited. The Eucharist is celebrated with the Divine Office of Lauds at 8:00 AM on weekdays. On Sunday, the community gathers for the Eucharist at nine o’clock.


6:00 AM Vigils Wed - Sun
8:00 AM Lauds/Eucharist Tues - Sat.
9:00 AM Eucharist Sun.
12:00 PM Midday Prayers Tues - Sat.
5:30 PM Vespers Tues.-Sun.
7:00 PM Compline Tues - Sat.


Benedictine monasteries are never without guests, and the guesthouse at Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery continues a Benedictine tradition centuries old of offering hospitality to both individuals and groups. We can sleep 24 people in 17 rooms contained in three different guesthouse buildings. We invite individuals and groups of all faiths to come for retreat, or on a bed and breakfast basis.

© 2008-2015 Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery. All rights reserved. Website design by Brenda Cadle

Latest Updates (23 July 2015)

2015 Winter Long Retreat : Wed 29 Jul - Sat 8 Aug

Please note that the monastic community will be in its annual winter retreat from Wednesday 29 July until the morning of Saturday 8 August 2015. The monks will be in silence and so will not be available during this period. There will also be just one public liturgy each day, that being Lauds/Eucharist at 8am. You would be most welcome to join us in the monastery chapel at that time.

However, there will be no public liturgy on Sunday 2 August nor on Monday 3 August.

Website Updates

The May 2015 edition of the Uxolo Newsletter has been added to the site for downloading.

The first class of Grade 3 children graduated from Holy Cross School at the end of 2014! We are very proud of them and of the teachers, staff and volunteers who have made it possible. Click here to see a photo of the class.

In the News section:

  • South African monastery builds community, locally and globally
  • News by eMail : We have opened an account with Everlytic, which will enable us to stay in touch with you by sending you our news by email.

See also: