Discernment Retreats

Those discerning a vocation with the Contemplatives of Saint Joseph come here to immerse themselves in a deep life of prayer and to share in our active apostolate. 


Our calling

Our vocation moves the candidate towards an ever-deeper peace and silence, in order that we hear the Word of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the sweet whispers of the Holy Spirit. Our calling embraces our goal which is to love God and our neighbor with all of our heart, soul, spirit and body. Our life is sustained by the foundations of all true spiritual life: faithfulness to the teachings and leadership of the Catholic Church, the ability to enter into silence, humility, love and obedience. It is also important that a man discerning a vocation with the Contemplatives of Saint Joseph

  • be able to live in community
  • have an interest in studying about contemplative spirituality
  • be able to do manual work in support of the monastery, and finally
  • be willing and able to share the fruits of his contemplative life in our prescribed Active Ministry within the Archdiocese of San Francisco

A Discernment Retreat is a way for a man to sample the lifestyle that the Contemplatives of Saint Joseph lead. If a man is interested in joining the COSJ for a discernment retreat he will need to respond to our entry criteria.

Mater Dolorosa Parish // 307 Willow Ave, South San Francisco, CA 94080