From TAHLEQUAH DAILY PRESS
Peace be to this house
By JOSH NEWTON
Hundreds from around the world gathered Saturday for the blessing of Clear Creek Monastery’s residence building.
LOST CITY – The solemn blessing of the new residence building at Our Lady of the Clear Creek Monastery brought hundreds from around the world to the architectural wonder Saturday.
Over 400 people attended a Saturday morning Mass, according to Father Phillip Anderson, prior at Clear Creek Monastery.
“Seven hundred said they were coming [to the dedication],” said Anderson. “People from France, Canada, all over America, especially the Midwest.”
But he said recent grounding of hundreds of American Airline flights may have kept a number of people from visiting.
“A lot of these people contributed their time, their help, their money,” he said.
Crowds gathered in the courtyard of the guesthouse to watch as His Excellence Edward J. Slattery, bishop of Tulsa, offered his blessing on the buildings.
“Adjutórium nostrum in nómine Dómini. Qui fecit caelum et terram. Pax huic domui. Et omnibus habitantibus in ea,” said the bishop, which is Latin for, “Our help is in the name of the Lord. Who made heaven and earth. Peace be to this house. And to all its inhabitants.”
Slattery asked God to sanctify and bless the monastery’s residence building, all who dwell therein, and everything else inside.
“At our entrance, therefore, deign to bless and sanctify this house as thou didst deign to bless the house of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and may the angels of thy light dwell within the walls of this house; and may they protect it and those who dwell therein. Through Christ our Lord. Amen,” said Flattery.
As the bishop blessed the residence, the Benedictine monks living at the monastery sang the antiphon “Vidi aquam” and Psalm 117.
Anderson said this open house actually begins an enclosure for the 30 monks at the monastery. He invited guests to tour the facilities, including the crypt, gatehouse and courtyards. A luncheon was also served to hundreds who lined up outside a large tent.
In a booklet produced by the monastery, the monks thank God, and all those who, through material aid or the “invisible help of their prayers and sacrifices,” made the building rise from the ground “to the glory of Christ and our lady [Mary].”
“Nor can we forget the untiring physical labor that has gone into the bricks and mortar that carry so much spiritual weight. We thank, in particular: His Excellency Bishop Edward J. Slattery; our Father Abbot Dom Antonine Forgeot; and the many unnamed construction workers who accomplished this beautiful work.”
The monastery resulted from an idea produced by a group of students from the University of Kansas some 30 years ago, who wanted more than time spent at church. Anderson was a member of those students who lived about 25 years at the Benedictine Abbey of Notre Dame in France. Monks moved into the Clear Creek Monastery in 1999, living in other buildings while the residence quarters were under construction.
The next step, said Anderson, will be completion of a large church that will be constructed above their temporary crypt.
“Construction may take us two to three years,” said Anderson.
For now, the monks look to begin a meaningful, effective prayer time.
“This will be a space of freedom for us,” said Anderson. “We will pray more. Monks will be separate, but distinct.”
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