Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ugly monastery

Seriously? A monastery that's going for the gulag look?

It's the Benedictine Monastery of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Clear Creek, Oklahoma. I've heard very good things about it, actually. They have the TLM and good chanting and they let visitors come and make retreats there. But they also have an unheated chapel even in subzero weather, or so I gather from the pictures of frost outside and laypeople within all wrapped in down coats and scarves. The chapel also features walls of cinderblock and cement.

You know, that is such a typical man thing-- a plain bare chapel that looks like it was built by hand by the monks themselves. I've seen other examples, particularly with Benedictine men, but this is the most extreme. I certainly don't mean to impugn the holiness of the monks concerned; quite the opposite. I'm just laughing at how aggressively un-feminine it is!

We need to detox now with something pretty. This will do.

It's a shiny white marble chapel of cloistered Dominicans. I took this picture from the public side, and you can just see a few of the sixteen nuns on the cloister side. This was during Mass, which was ad orientem from our perspective, and in this shot the priest is preaching to them.

My former roommate is a postulant with them now. :)

Update! Okay, so Rick tells me the gulag looks that way because it's actually under construction. Thank goodness and my apologies to the monks. :)


RickMK said...

Actually, the reason why the monastery at Clear Creek looks like that is because it is under construction! They haven't even started building the church yet. That's the crypt that they are using for the chapel until the real church is built, but even the crypt is not finished yet.
The abbot in France said for them to build something that would last a thousand years, and they took that seriously. They're not throwing together some prefab structure. This is something that is going to be standing there for the ages, and so it is taking many years to get done.

Rachel Gray said...

Thank you Rick! That's good to know. I see from your profile that you visit there a lot. I saw a webpage that says there are Clear Creek sisters, two of them so far, apparently affiliated with the monastery. It didn't say anything else-- have you ever heard of the sisters?

(And wow, you've been on the internet since Gore created it.)

RickMK said...

Yes, there are a couple of sisters there. I think there might be a postulant there too. I believe they started with a single hermit, but now there is more than one there. You can see them at Vespers and Mass, and you can talk to them afterwards (they're not cloistered).

Rachel Gray said...

Thanks Rick!

(Hey, that dollhouse on your miniatures page has the exact same dolls as the ones in my old dollhouse. That takes me back...)