The Abbey's grounds are open to those who wish to visit from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM—Evening Prayers—each day.

St. Mary & St. Moses Abbey is a Holy Monastery of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a place of repentance and redemption for those men leading a monastic life and for the pious visitors. Yet St. Mary & St. Moses Abbey welcomes all visitors, but through advance arrangements for those who would like to stay overnight. If you wish to enter the holy grounds, the following guidelines must be observed.

  1. We kindly ask all visitors to be modestly dressed since St. Mary & St. Moses Abbey is a sacred place. (No shorts, mini-skirts, sleeveless blouses, tight or transparent clothes, etc.)
  2. If a monk is not immediately available at the lobby when you arrive, we kindly ask that you wait until one of the monks returns.
  3. Smoking is strictly forbidden everywhere on the Abbey's grounds.
  4. Children must be supervised at all times and not roaming freely on the grounds.
  5. Overnight Visitors:
    1. Must complete the online visitation form to receive the blessing to stay overnight at the Abbey;
    2. Must obtain a permission letter prior to completing the online visitation form;
    3. Must bring their own bed sheet and pillow case to use during their stay at the Abbey;
    4. Are expected to attend all scheduled church services for the visitors;
    5. Staying over ten (10) days, are required to submit permit from the Bishop prior to arrival;
    6. Women are allowed to stay at the Abbey if they are accompanied with a priest for the whole stay; otherwise, they can stay at a nearby hotel. Nearby hotels:http://sandiatx.areaguides.net/hotels.html
  6. We kindly ask that you respect the quiet and solitude of the Abbey while on the grounds all the time.
  7. Loud talking and laughing are always inappropriate.
  8. We ask that you do not use the telephones during the services hours.
  9. Please do not visit non-public areas of the grounds.
  10. All visitors must observe the order of the Abbey.
  11. Groups of ten (10) or more are asked to make arrangements at minimum three (3) weeks in advance of arrival.
  12. Non-Orthodox visitors are also welcome to attend the services, but must abide to the rules of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
  13. During the Divine Liturgy:
    1. Men should stand on the left side of the church and women on the right side of the church.
    2. All women are required to cover their heads with a veil upon entering the chapel.
    3. All cell phones and/or pagers must be turned off.
    4. We kindly asked to please avoid any unnecessary movement.
  14. Meals are eaten together in the assigned places and times.
  15. The work, rest periods and services are conducted according to the Retreat Center'sschedule.
  16. We ask all Coptic Orthodox Christians, before partaking in the Holy Communion, to:
    1. prepare with confession;
    2. obtain absolution from your Confessor Father; and
    3. abstain from food from midnight or for nine hours if the time from midnight till communion is shorter than nine hours.
  17. Only the Oriental Orthodox Christians, who are in full communion with the Coptic Orthodox Church, are allowed to partake of the Holy Communion.
  18. Married couples, partaking of the Holy Communion, must be married in the Orthodox Church.
  19. Photographs (including videos):
    1. may be taken of the buildings, the grounds and inside the Church;
    2. should not be taken of the monks or guests without their permission; and
    3. are not allowed during the services unless it has the blessing from the abbot or the monk in charge.
Thank you for your understanding.