We are currently reading at table The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy.
We finished reading The Bishop’s Boys a couple of weeks ago, and are now completing Fish on Friday: Feasting, Fasting, and Discovery of the New World by Brian Fagan.
From left to right: Abbot Mark Cooper, Bishop Joseph Gerry, Father John Paul, Abbot Matthew Leavy.
Earlier today, our Bro. John Paul, O.S.B. was ordained a deacon. Our former abbot, also the bishop emeritus of Portland, Maine, Bishop Joseph Gerry, O.S.B. was the celebrant. Bro. John Paul was presented for ordination by his abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B., who then helped him vest with the appropriate stole and dalmatic. The retired abbot, Matthew Leavy, O.S.B., also assisted with the vesting. Bro. John Paul, who took solemn monastic vows this summer, is currently in his final year of theological studies at St. John’s Seminary in Boston. The ordination to the priesthood is scheduled for June of 2014. Following abbey custom, he will now be known as Father John Paul.
Video footage of the Benedictine Priory of Montreal is hard to come by, especially as the monastery closed in 1990. Radio-Canada’s French language program on religion, “Second Regard,” did do two reports on the community in the 1980s. Alas, I do not have access to those videos.
However, some footage is available of the actual physical structure of the former mansion and monastery. After the priory closed its doors, the house was used as a film set for at least two movies I know of.
The first is a dramatization of the Nuremberg Trials, where the former monastery serves as the Nuremberg home of the chief prosecutor, played by Alec Baldwin in “Nuremberg.” In the following clip, you see an exterior shot of the former monastery, with the actors, including Mr. Baldwin, walking through the main door and down the marble hallway.
An even more amazing use of the former priory as a movie set occurs in the Donald Sutherland movie, “The Assignment,” about the assassin, Carlos the Jackal. The priory is now a safe-house in Berlin for Carlos, and the house is under assault in this clip. Once the assault team has moved into the house and down the marble hallway they shoot and kill a group playing cards where the monastic community used to sing the Regina caeli.
Exterior view of the Benedictine Priory of Montreal
Earlier this week while giving the Conversatio lecture in the new Humanities program I had occasion to mention the Benedictine Priory of Montreal, a monastery that I was familiar with before I had made my way here to Saint Anselm’s. As I was using PowerPoint to support the lecture, I wanted to find some digital images of the Priory for the various slides. Alas, there was not a lot of material on the web, no doubt related to the fact that the monastery closed in 1990 before the web really took off. Fortunately, I had an old brochure with colors in pretty good shape, so here are a few photos of the Pine Avenue (Avenue des pins) monastery, the former McConnell mansion.
Meditation Room at the Benedictine Priory of Montreal
The monastic community in Montreal practiced a prayer discipline associated with its founder, Dom John Main, O.S.B., the practice of Christian Meditation.
Main Hall of the Benedictine Priory of Montreal
Central Hallway just off the main entrance to the Benedictine Priory of Montreal
In reading about the Wright Brothers in Tom Crouch’s The Bishop’s Boys we are learning a lot about the early life of Wilbur and Orville. Who knew they were at one time journalists?
After covering the 1891 campaign of Fire Alarm Joe Foraker, two term governor of Ohio, Orville opined after hearing him speak: “If he is an honest man he ought to sue his face.”
Earlier this week we finished reading the papal encyclical Lumen fidei and began to read The Bishop’s Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright by Tom Crouch.