Mountain Companion Ministry

Since its founding, the friars at Mt. Irenaeus have welcomed lay men and women to this way of life and ministry for a year or more.  Mountain Companions help lead the various retreats taking place throughout the year and “walk with” our guests on their spiritual journeys. They help tend the land and provide hospitality at the Mountain while living and working among the friars and guests.

There are three types of companion opportunities with us:

  • Student Summer Companions
  • Seasonal Companions
  • Long-Term Companions


Leading prayer, offering hospitality, doing manual and domestic work and sharing other responsibilities with the Core Community summarizes the summer tasks. This experience offers you the opportunity to grow in your spirituality, sharpen ministerial skills and your ability to use leisure and quiet times for personal growth. We continue to enjoy these summer experiences with our young community members. Each summer is a new and fresh experience of community and ministry at the Mountain. If you join us, you will bring a great deal to the Mountain summer and we are sure we will learn a great deal as well.

The 2024 Summer Companion application period is underway.  Please contact Br. Kevin at [email protected] or call the Mountain office at 716-375-2096 if you are interested in learning more!

Watch this video from one of our most recent Student Summer Companions, and read more about Alyssa Magnuson’s experience.


We invite men and women interested in living and supporting our life for a month or more. While experiencing the silence and simplicity would be the primary aspect of time spent here, it’s expected that Companions would also participate in the activities of the daily life of the Mountain: cooking meals, helping in the garden and other outdoor projects, welcoming guests, participating in the prayer life, and at times leading prayer. These are all parts of the full life we are welcoming others into.

Please contact Br. Kevin Kriso at [email protected] or Mike Fenn at [email protected] if you have any questions or are interested in being part of this new and exciting way of experiencing the Mountain!


For a longer period of time, consider becoming part of our life and ministry, an active contemplative Franciscan place of prayerful hospitality, and live among the resident community. To provide a setting for Companions to grow spiritually – to deepen their relationship with God by making a commitment to live simply in a communal life in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi.

This ministry is open to adults who have the energy to fully participate in our life, and the willingness to welcome and engage our guests during their visit. If you are interested in learning more about this unique way of living the Gospel life, we are happy to connect with you. Please contact Mike Fenn at [email protected] or 716-375-2613.


Chris Domes was one of the first two summer student interns/companions at the Mountain in 1985. For 90 days, Chris spent time in prayer, solitude, fellowship and working with Fr. Dan Riley, ofm, and Fr. Dan Hurley, ofm, to establish the Mountain that first summer, welcoming our first guests to the land. Chris is now president of Neumann University. In his 2021 commencement address, he tells the story of his time at the Mountain that summer, five truths he learned and how that time transformed his life.

Upcoming Events

  1. Mass at the Mountain – Every Sunday at 11 a.m.

    January 14, 2024 @ 11:00 am - October 19, 2025 @ 1:00 pm
  2. Young(er) Alumni Mountain Zoom Gathering

    February 28 @ 8:30 pm - April 9 @ 10:00 pm
  3. Mountain on the Road in Phoenix on Feb 29

    February 29 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

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Listen, pray and reflect with Fr. Dan. Take time to listen to his latest podcast.

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For What Shall We Pray?

As is our custom at the Mountain, we invite your petitions and prayer requests. Submit yours online and pray for the intentions from our Mountain family.