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 ...

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"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.

© 2008-2017 Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery. All rights reserved. Website design by Brenda Cadle

Latest Updates (10 December 2017)


The monastic community will be in retreat from Tuesday 12 December until the morning of Friday 22 December. 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 Vespers/Eucharist at 5.30pm. As always, you are most welcome to join us then.

Please note in particular that there will not be a Eucharist in the chapel on the Sunday morning, 17 December.

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

Website Updates

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.

The May 2016 edition of the Uxolo Newsletter has been added to the site for downloading.

In the News section:

  • New address details for Fiduciary Trust Company International
  • 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.

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.

See also: