Hermitism anyone? Councels, requirements etc needed!


Hello everyone.

I’m discerning my vocation to be a hermit [non-canonical], but I can’t find any “down to earth” information.

All I find is the Cannon Law refering to Hermits *, but no actual “what do you need to start off”, withought running into the usual “Throw your TV out the window, don’t take a shower for three months and stop cutting your beard/hair/fingernails” reply that one finds online.

Can anyone please help me? I’m pretty much lost.*


1 out of three isn’t bad?

Throw the TV out the window is definitely a step!


The eremitical voation is not too common. It is customary if not standard procedure for someone who might be called to such a life be formed first in a religious community.

Carthusians are one such order. There is only one community in the U.S. Although most are not hermits. It is a rare vocation.

There are some orders who do this but not many at all. Maybe ask the trappists at Gethsemane Abbey.

End note: I see you are from Portugal. The Carthusians are move active in Europe.

Their mother house is in France.



Bethlehem Hermits is one order…I think the might be in the U.S., but I"m not sure.


This search term in google will give you a number of hits:

“eremtical vocation”

This vocation is only for the well-formed and mature monk who has been in community for at the very least one or two years, I think.



While I can’t help you, I will follow the thread, as I know someone who has expressed an interest in this life.



You’ll find information on living the life of a hermit on the “Notes from Stillsong Hermitage” Blog at notesfromstillsong.blogspot.com/ You might also contact the blogger for information on how she lives as a hermit and what it entails.


Speak to your bishop.


Very good advice.


I don’t see how can I contact the blogger, honestly. I can’t find their e-mail.


On the right side under “Contact Information” she gives two different e-mail addresses.


Thank you. I guess one misses out more than he thinks by visiting only the mobile versions. Not having a computer sometimes makes things difficult!


Remember, for St Benedict a hermit was a monk who started in community (ie, a monastery) and had built up his/her faith to the point that they could “go it alone”.

I think that that is really good advice (particularly coming from a man who had done it the other way round). :slight_smile:


You may want to check out the following websites:

Raven’s Bread Ministries -
“Raven’s Bread Ministries offers a service to hermits and lovers of solitude around the world, no matter what their spiritual affiliation. We offer information and guidance to those who have embraced eremitical life full-time; to those who are discerning this particular call from the Divine, and to those who cherish whatever solitude they can find in their daily lives.”

Hermitary -
“Resources and reflections on hermits and solitude”



Thank you! Will check thise in detail!


In June or July of this year I intend to make a second visit and contingent postulancy with the Camaldolese of Monte Corona (Er. Cam), the only extant reformed order of the Camaldolese. The Camaldolese of Monte Corona are a more purely eremitical order than the Camaldolese, which are a branch of the OSB.

They are found in Italy (3) and Poland (2), Colombia, Venezuela, and the US.


This is the website (they do not use internet, so it is maintained by another). They have a lot of good books I would recommend. Alone with God, the Eremitic Life, Camaldolese Extraordinary (this includes Alone with God), etc… you could also read their Constitutions.

Are you speaking with an advisor about your decision? I assume by non-canonical you mean, on your own? From all I’ve read, especially in literature like Alone with God, it is not so preferred to be on your own. There are a variety of things to consider here, but principally for being sure to be on a proper spiritual path. We also consider it more “perfect” to live underneath a Rule.

I understand it is your decision, but I would be extremely wary of striking off on my own instead of taking on the yoke of a Rule and a Superior. Much monastic literature is written against this way of life because of the dangers inherent, as well as the severely diminished ability to practice humility and obedience under the Rule.

Within the Er. Cam., take into consideration that after a period of such and such a time, a hermit may go a step further. They may become a recluse. The recluse (there is usually only one in the entire Order at any point in time. I had the privilege of actually meeting him, since he was on his way back from a trip to the doctor) is scarcely seen by anyone save the Prior. If this is the sort of extreme solitude you’re seeking but you’re afraid to enter into a religious order, consider that it is achievable within the cloister.

Anyways, God be with you… contemplate seriously reading some of those books, if you can. I believe Silence to be free as a pdf although I have not read it and cannot vouch.

Edit: ah, I see that you are Old Catholic, and so ineligible to become a member of a Catholic religious order like Er. Cam. Gotcha. Well… if you have further questions I’d be happy to answer.


Oh, and yes, the Carthusians and the Bethlehemites are both eremitic orders. In fact, Monte Corona, the original seat of the Er. Cam., was secularized when the hermits were expelled from there, but the property endured, and eventually came into the possession of some brothers of the Bethlehemites!

The Carmelites also have a few eremitic monasteries that I am aware of.


You need to start by getting a spiritual director (one who is a holy and prudent priest) to discern this with. End of story.


A small word of caution/. Ravens Bread is run by a couple, she an ex nun, he a former priest, And has drifted to a buddhist way. Hermitary also is not specifically Christian. Both are concerned with solitude for its own sake with no affiliation with any religion.


As I originally posted the link to Raven’s Bread Ministries, I would only point out the Resources page, which “offer copies of hard-to-find documents and data about eremitical life such as” Bibliographies, Juridical Commentaries, Hermit Rules and Surveys, Articles, and Rites of Hermit Profession. Most are Christian and specifically Catholic in orientation.

Having read the newsletter for a number of years I have not seen a drift to “a buddhist way”.

I make no judgment on the former vocations of the couple who now oversee Raven’s Bread Ministries. They are carrying on the mission of the newsletter “Food for Those in Solitude, (which) was passed on to them in 1997 by the originator, Fr. Bede Jagoe, OP who had spent a number of years in eremitic solitude in India”. It has grown from supporting 200 members to 1200 members worldwide.

As SilverAvenger was said to be “discerning my vocation to be a hermit [non-canonical]”, I offered the link to Hermitary with its various articles and information from a wide range of lived experience with the eremitical life. There are an abundance of articles and reviews about the Western/Christian eremitic tradition at the Articles and Reviews tabs.



Have prayed for you SighGuy.

My monastery is Camaldolose*:cool:

*well, to be more precise, in the process of becoming Camaldolese.:wink:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.