Monastery Protocol

Protocol for visitors

A woman who belongs to the Order is called Sister (a nun is a professed Sister in a cloistered Order). The Superior is called Mother. A monastery is supposed to be a place of silence as much as possible. A visitor is greeted by the Portress (the Sister who answers the phone and door) who is in a “wicket,” a tiny room where she can ascertain the identity of the person, but she is mostly heard and not seen due to her location.

Visitors to the monastery are seen in the “parlor” —a room with a partial partition between the Sister(s) and the visitor(s). (In former days the half partition included a grille or type of screen.)

Visitors are not allowed into the enclosure except under specific circumstances. Postulants and novices do not converse with any visitors except their own, and parlor visits are limited.