This weekend I went to my cousin's ordination ceremony, where he
became a regular monk in the Monastery at Our Lady of Clear Creek. It
was quite an intense ceremony because this is the real thing, a
tradition of monks that has passed down from St. Benedict. A couple of
fans were the only things that cooled the audience - not the monks -
for three hours in intense heat and humidity; after the ceremony my
great-aunt fainted! She soon recovered.
For those who don't know, my uncle went to France to become a monk
himself over twenty-five years ago, and just a few years ago the
monastery he was associated with, Fontgambault, opened a priory in
Oklahoma and he followed.
Me, my dad, and my Uncle Roark
You'll notice Roark isn't wearing a black robe as the Benedictines are
known to do - it was decided that because it was so hot, the monks
could wear white on special occasions.
Nick, newly ordained, poses with family
I remember Fontgambault as a magical place, with beautiful gardens and
an ancient church that just felt venerable. They are trying to create
this same atmosphere in Oklahoma with another large church and
monastery that will last for centuries. Below are pictures of what has
been finished so far and what the finished product will look like.
Outside the crypt ("basement"), about three times my height
Inside the crypt, used as a church for Nick's ceremony
The finished product - only the very bottom level is finished