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 Tue - Sat
9:00 AM Eucharist Sun
12:00 PM Midday Prayers Tue - Sat
4:30 PM Vespers Sun
5:30 PM Vespers Tue - Sat
7:00 PM Compline Tue - 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.

© 2008-2018 Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery. All rights reserved. Website design by Brenda Cadle

Latest Updates (14 July 2018)

WINTER RETREAT : 24 July - 3 August

The monastic community will be in retreat from Tuesday 24 July until the morning of Friday 3 August. The monks will be in silence during this time and will not be available. The guesthouse will be closed during the retreat.

During the retreat, there will be just one daily Office in the chapel, that of Lauds/Eucharist at 8am. As always, you are most welcome to join us then.

Please note that there will be NOT be a Eucharist in the chapel on Sunday 29 July.

Please pray for us during this time of silence and prayer. Thank you ...

Please Note

The monastery guest house is closed until further notice.

You are still most welcome to join us in the chapel for prayer at the usual times.

Our telephone numbers have changed, as reflected on the Contact page.

Website Updates

There are two significant changes to the Donations page:

  • Unfortunately, we can no longer accept online donations via this website, for the time being.
  • The information regarding donations from the US has been updated.

The 2018 edition of the OHC Ordo has been added to the site for downloading.

You can read the texts of sermons recently preached in our chapel here.

See also:

  • The May 2016 edition of the Uxolo Newsletter has been added to the site for downloading.
  • 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.
  • The second class of Grade 3 children graduated from Holy Cross School at the end of 2015! 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.
  • A gallery of photographs from the 2015 YearEnd Play at Holy Cross School has been added to the website.
  • A gallery of photographs from Br Daniel's Ordination to the Priesthood has been added to the website.