History : The Monastery of Christ in the Desert, Abiquiu, New Mexico, U.S.A., was founded in 1964 by Fr. Aelred Wall, OSB, with monks of Mount Saviour Monastery in New York state. In 1983 the Monastery of Christ in the Desert was received into the English Province of the Subiaco Congregation as a Conventual Priory and in 1996 became an autonomous abbey. From its beginning the monastery has followed the Benedictine life with no external apostolates, but maintains a guesthouse for private retreats where men and women can share the Divine Office and Mass in the abbey church with the monks. Besides maintaining the guesthouse, the monks engage in agriculture, craft, maintenance and computer work at the monastery. A gift shop is also part of the monastery's income, which includes a mail-order department of books and other religious items in the gift shop. Christ in the Desert has two dependent monasteries in Mexico: La Soledad, near San Miguel de Allende, and St. Mary and All the Saints, in Xalapa, as well as a dependent monastery in the USA, Holy Cross, in Chicago. All of these monasteries likewise observe the Benedictine life without apostolates other than a guesthouse. The Monastery is situated in a beautiful canyon in northwestern New Mexico, surrounded by miles of government-protected wilderness, thus assuring and promoting solitude and quiet for the cenobitic life. The chief architect of the original monastery was George Nakashima, famous Japanese-American woodworker and architect. The electricity and water-pumping at the monastery is solar-powered, as sunshine is plentiful throughout the year. The community at Christ in the Desert is comprised of men from several nations, though English is the language of the house.