Bethany Spring Retreat Center

Merton Institute Retreat Center, Kentucky
Bethany Spring, near the Abbey of Gethsemani (Lori Erickson photo)

Bethany Spring offers accommodations for those wishing to make a retreat near the Abbey of Gethsemani.


If you’re interested in making a retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani, you can stay at the abbey itself or stay a mile from the abbey at Bethany Spring.

Even if you stay at Bethany Spring, you can still attend services at the Abbey of Gethsemani and walk its public paths.

The center is set in a lovely landscape of rolling fields and wooded hills.  Accommodations are in private cabins or in a white clapboard house that sleeps nine people.

Cabin at Bethany Spring (Lori Erickson photo)

When I stayed at Bethany Spring, I loved my cozy little cabin overlooking the lake and hills.  During my visit, I came across the following passage that was left in its guest book by a previous occupant.  It sums up very well what a place like Bethany Spring can do for a person’s soul:

“To all who come here, to anyone reading these words: settle in in your heart and thoughts and allow the peace of this place to touch you.  This place has been a sanctuary of prayer, reflection and seeking for those, like me, who have come before you.  Now all this, for a time, is entrusted to you—to dwell in your heart and abide with you, then it will be your sacred obligation to pass this love forward to whomever comes next, and to everyone you meet.  So I, we, bless you to discover that your true self is what you are seeking, that love and compassion, generosity and joy, are your true nature and lasting gift.  Love, A rabbi   July 2009

Bethany Spring is at 115 Dee Head Road, New Haven, Kentucky.

Main page for a Thomas Merton Tour


Lori Erickson is one of America’s top travel writers specializing in spiritual journeys. She’s the author of the Near the Exit: Travels With the Not-So-Grim Reaper and Holy Rover: Journeys in Search of Mystery, Miracles, and God. Her website Spiritual Travels features holy sites around the world.



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