You may already know of the new Benedictine monastery going up in Oklahoma. Its a monastery of the Solesmes congregation in France, and an offshoot of the famous Abbey of Fontgombault. I haven’t been there yet, but hope to visit next Spring while on a speaking tour of Oklahoma. The monks are young, eager and very traditional. You can look and learn more about Clear Creek here. There are lots of pictures of the monks and the building work going on.
The Benedictines are so great. The ones I know are so dignified, intelligent and always with a sense of humor. Because they take a vow of stability they have an especially keen sense of place. They keep going back to their old medieval monasteries and re-building them, or at least sending a few monks to live in a house near the site. The story of Fontgombault itself is one of medieval glory, destruction through the various French revolutions, and resurrection as the monks eventually returned. Solesmes is the same…a little medieval priory brought back to life and restored to glory. Quarr Abbey in England is similar. A new abbey built just a few hundred yards from the ruins of a medieval house.
I asked a monk at Downside Abbey about this once. He smiled a monkish sort of smile and said, “We’re like weeds. We keep coming back.”
I miss visiting the monasteries in England and France, and need to get to know the ones here in the USA. For the next few days I am going to try to do some posts on the Benedictine Way. I hope they appeal.