Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Monks in California Breathe Life Into a Monastery From Spain
The New York Times ^ | 1/10/13 | Norimitsu Onishi

Posted on 01/11/2013 7:01:41 AM PST by marshmallow

VINA, Calif. — The rebirth of a medieval Cistercian monastery building here on a patch of rural Northern California land was, of course, improbable. William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper tycoon, brought the dismantled Santa Maria de Óvila monastery from Spain but failed to restore it. The City of San Francisco, after some fitful starts at bringing the monastery back to life, left its stones languishing for decades in Golden Gate Park. The Great Depression, World War II and lethargy got in the way.

But an aging and shrinking order of Cistercian monks have accomplished what great men and cities could not: the reconstruction of Santa Maria de Óvila’s most architecturally significant building, a 12th-century Gothic chapter house. The monks ascribed the successful restoration to their faith, though years of tenacious fund-raising, as well as a recent alliance with a local beer brewer, also helped.

“The meaning that this holds for us, and the link to hope, is that it may take generations,” the Rev. Paul Mark Schwan, the abbot of the New Clairvaux monastery, said of the restoration. “What appears dead, or almost dead, rises again.”

With the major work complete, the chapter house was opened to the public last year.

“We got into possession of the stones, and they’ve come home — a long ways from Spain, but back on Cistercian land with Cistercian monks returning it to sacred space,” Father Schwan said on a recent chilly afternoon, standing just inside one of the arched entrances, his voice resonating off the limestone walls and vaulted ceilings. “I look at this, and it’s remarkable we’ve come this far, that this is actually all put back together.”

With two-thirds of the original stones and modern earthquake-resistant reinforcements, Óvila’s chapter house now sits, perhaps incongruously, in an open field near the......

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach; Prayer
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 01/11/2013 7:01:49 AM PST by marshmallow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

Don’t go into the NYT for any reason even for a pix of a rebuit monastary by old Cistercians.


2 posted on 01/11/2013 9:07:33 AM PST by mosesdapoet ("A voice crying in the wilderness make streight for the way of the Lord")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mosesdapoet

You can see some pictures at the New Clairvaux Monastery site, linked in the article.


3 posted on 01/11/2013 10:06:30 AM PST by Tax-chick (Please explain how my being in a fuss would help the situation.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

After sorting through the monastery pages a bit I went to the NYT article. It gave the timeline of this structure, which helped a lot.

Long story short, built in the 1100’s in Spain in a spot where they’d just chased out the Moors. Shutdown by the Spanish govt in the 1800’s fell into disuse, was used as a manure pit, bought by William Randolph Hurst in the early 1920’s to use as part of his multi story castle that he never built because he went broke so he donated all the stones to San Francisco. They sat on city property till the 1990’s. In 2004 work started reassembling the stones in Northern California and today the Chapter House is in use.

Its an amazing and beautiful story.


4 posted on 01/11/2013 4:52:48 PM PST by wonkowasright (Wonko from outside the asylum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson