Frequently Asked Questions
Is St. Simeon Skete designed for vocations only or can others make a visit to the skete? St. Simeon Skete is for those seeking a vocation to become residents of the skete, living the life of prayer. It is not a retreat house nor a place of spiritual vacation. However, there are limited special opportunities for those who wish to apply for a short term stay at the skete in order to deepen the prayer.
How would a vocation be confirmed? Those contemplating a vocation spend an extended stay at the skete in an Observership. During this time they are in prayer and discernment of the vocation.
How would I go about applying for a short visit to the skete?
Please send email or postal mail below and include the following information:
- dates of stay / desired stay length
- individual or group visit
- home church
- reason/focus for visit
Ideally laity should include a letter of recommendation from their parish priest. Clergy and those in Holy Orders please include a letter from your Bishop.
St. Simeon Skete Guest Master
Nazareth House Apostolate
185 Captains Cove Drive
Taylorsville, KY 40071
Is the skete for men only? No. Both men and women reside at the skete.
What is required of those visiting the skete? You are required to attend all Public Offices beginning with Lauds and Eucharist at 4:00 AM. You will be given specific chores and responsibilities. An Atmosphere of Prayer is expected at all times. Due to the sanctity of this Holy place we kindly ask that you respect the quiet and solitude of the Skete while on the grounds. Smoking and Alcohol anywhere within the Holy grounds is strictly forbidden.
Pilgrims are asked to apply to the “Skete: Guest Master” to inquire about room availability before making travel arrangements. We ask that you arrive between the hours of 8 AM and 4 PM if possible. During your stay, Pilgrims are welcome to partake of all the food provided in the guesthouse.
Please also follow these rules:
- Label all personal food items.
- Do not place personal items on unoccupied beds so as to keep them available for other pilgrims.
- Do not gather around the area immediately in front of residents’ cells and in front of the kellia, especially after the morning service and after Compline.
- We ask that your cell phone be switched off during your stay. If you must use your phone, please respect others solitude when making phone calls.
What is the attire when at the skete? Visitors must be properly attired to enter the Skete’s grounds. In general, clothing should be modest and loose-fitting. Clergy may wear a cassock.
Can you take photographs of the skete? Photographs (including videos) may be taken of the buildings, the grounds. No photographs inside the chapel without permission. Please ask before taking photographs of any of the residents or guests. Photographs (including videos) are not allowed during the services unless it has a blessing from the Elder.
Is there times of silence at the skete? We maintain a reserved quiet, conducive to prayer, always. However, on Thursdays it is “Desert Day” in which we do not talk from Lauds until after Vespers.
Although we kindly ask all visitors to be quiet and orderly while at the skete at all times, you are expected to be especially quiet during St. Simeon Skete Quiet Hours, which are:
- From After Compline at 7:30P.M. until 4:00 A.M.
- Silence is invoked for three hours after the morning service of Lauds & Eucharist
Are day visits allowed at the skete? We accept day visitors who wish to visit the Wailing Wall, see the grounds or attend Prayer Offices. If you are in a group of ten or more people, please contact us in advance so that we may be properly prepared to receive you. Day visits should be completed after Compline. When the gate is closed to the property, the skete is cloistered.
What does a day at the skete entail? There are 11 Offices said daily at the skete beginning at 2:30 AM vigils. 4 hours of manual labor are expected each day as well as private study time. A meal is shared together after Vespers.
What kind of “manual labor” is required at the skete? We have over 30 acres of land and six structures that require maintenance, repair and attention. Indoors there are regular household chores, office work – typing and filing, The Bookshop, making rosaries to name a few. There is something for everyone to do.
Is the skete non-denominational? The skete isn’t non-denominational. It is pre-denominational. It is evangelical but not Protestant. It is catholic but not Roman. It has believed, taught, preserved, defended and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost nearly 2000 years ago in 33 A.D.
Is there a way to be a part of the skete without being a resident? Yes, there are Oblates of St. Simeon Skete. For information write to and mail to: “St. Simeon Skete: Oblates” c/o St. Simeon Skete, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, KY 40071.