Monastery Chapel

Building Hope – Br. Eldridge Pendleton

In October 1929, the stock market crashed, sending the nation into the worst economic depression in history, the Great Depression. During this time, Spence Burton, the superior of SSJE, was working with the celebrated architect Ralph Adams Cram on plans for the new Monastery on Memorial Drive. The project, when finished, would not only enable…

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Companions in Light – Br. James Koester

I don’t look at the clerestory windows so much as they look at me. A line in our Rule, which speaks about our predecessors in the Society, says that “they are not dead figures from the past. Risen in Christ, they belong to the great cloud of witnesses who spur us on by their prayers.”…

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Welcome Home – Br. Geoffrey Tristram

On a trip to the United States to visit a friend in Washington, I decided to spend a couple of nights at the Monastery, in part because the guesthouse was somewhere I could afford to stay. I was not expecting anything in particular. Yet when I walked into the Chapel for the first time, for…

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The Architecture of Silence – Br. Curtis Almquist

Cistercian architecture has been called the architecture of silence: austere and simple, focusing on stone and light, with open, proportional space, and visual harmony. The early Cistercian architecture drew inspiration from Romanesque, then Gothic architecture, two traditions which also inspired the architect of the Monastery Chapel, Ralph Adams Cram. I’d like to trace several architectural…

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