The Cloister Walk

2015-11-12T10:15:18-04:00November 12th, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , , |

The cloister is like the heart of the monastery. From the outside the monastery is imposing like a fortress. The walls rise up and the windows are small. When you enter the feel at first is like a great old school or university. It is perhaps intimidating. You are small and alone. The church inspires and [...]

Downside Abbey

2015-11-11T10:04:57-04:00November 11th, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , |

Downside Abbey, England, UK Downside Abbey in Somerset in Western England is where I was an oblate for about seven years. The Benedictine Order is comprised of various "congregations". Each congregation has its own history and charism. Downside is a major abbey in the English Benedictine Congregation. As a member of the English Benedictine [...]

On Serving in the Refectory

2015-11-10T13:27:10-04:00November 10th, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , , |

The Refectory, Quarr Abbey, Isle of Wight, UK Let the brethren serve one another, and let no one be excused from the kitchen service except by reason of sickness or occupation in some important work. For this service brings increase of reward and of charity... The one who is ending his week of service [...]

Strangely at One With the Stone and the Glass

2015-11-08T20:23:12-04:00November 8th, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , , |

PENTAX Image My first visit to a Benedictine monastery was while I was a student at Oxford. I travelled down on the train first to Reading and then to the little station of Woolhampton, and set out to hike the mile or so up the hill following the old sign that pointed, "To the [...]

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