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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Washington Times Article about the Benedictine Monks at Clear Creek Monastery

From The Washington Times
by Michael Farr
Article published Apr 4, 2008

Former students set up a retreat

Hulbert is like a lot of small towns in Oklahoma — with one big difference: The tiny hamlet of about 550 is home to a monastery of Gregorian-chanting, cheese-making, Benedictine monks. Direct from France, no less.

”The vocation, the whole way of life — it has a lot of hidden resources,” said the Rev. Philip Anderson, prior of Our Lady of the Annunciation Monastery of Clear Creek in Hulbert. “You discover beauties that you never saw in the natural world.”

Father Anderson established Clear Creek Monastery in 1999 with 12 other monks from Fontgombault Monastery in France, including some of his former classmates from the University of Kansas. The number of monks at the monastery has more than doubled since then.
His and his classmates' sudden move from university life in Kansas to monastic life in France was sparked by a visit to Fontgombault Monastery through a humanities program at the university. The monastery so intrigued them that some time later they decided to return to stay.

“When you're 20 years old, you're crazy,” said Father Anderson, who was at Fontgombault for more than two decades. “My generation was looking for either heaven or hell. We didn't want to be middle-class businessmen.”

And that they aren't. But the monks do describe what they do as a religious profession. Like modern workers, they have their daily routines — but their routines include attending multiple Masses per day, formal and silent prayer, chants and several hours of manual labor.

This is a far cry from the pace of the modern world, but according to Father Anderson, the monastery has its own kind of excitement.

“The beauty of monastic life is we have balance,” he said. “It's a very big adventure here.”

In accordance with their Benedictine tradition, the monks strive to be self-sufficient. The monastery has especially become known for its cheese.

“About the best cheese I've ever had,” said Ted King, spokesman for Clear Creek Monastery.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

' i just put up a video about their Mother-Abbey at Fontgombault.
as well here is an older documentary on Clear Creek