Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wanna be a Monk?

Apparently, monasteries are no longer the draw that they were in the 11th century and modern abbots (and bishops) are realizing this. But in the spirit of "try before you buy," some Anglican and Roman Catholic monasteries and nunneries in England are now offering "taster" weekends. Go to the monastery, stay there for a couple of nights, pretend you're a monk, and see how you like the whole thing. I wonder if they mention those whole eternal celibacy and eternal silence thingies during that weekend...

Anyway, the article from The Observer also points to Worth Abbey's (a Benedictine house with quite a slick website) "Compass Project." This project, unlike the other "taster" weekends, is aimed at a younger crowd -- roughly 20-35 years old -- and is a program spread over a number of weekends. And, of course,
if all else fails, there is one more option open to convents: importing nuns. Some Irish nunneries have been propping up their numbers with Polish women.
Man, we've come a long way from child oblation.

3 comments:

Steve Muhlberger said...

About a decade or so ago I was passing thru St.Louis and saw a recruiting billboard for monks. The phone number on the ad was 1-800-ME-A-MONK. The add was paid for by an order of nuns.

Matthew Gabriele said...

I am sooooooo tempted to try that phone number right now.

Jonathan Jarrett said...

There's scope to build a monastic ad campaign using super-hero motives, I'd have thought. All that wrestling with demons and complete inner certainty stuff. Maybe we should get JLJ to draw a supermonks comic :-)