Thoughts on Mount Angel Abbey

Last week we had the opportunity to visit the Mount Angel Abbey and hear from Brother Andre Love. Br. Andre Love took his final and solemn profession of vows as a Benedictian earlier this year in September. Here’s a video from Mount Angel Abbey about Monastic Formation:

At the start of our visit we went to the abbey’s museum, which was filled with a lot of surprising artifacts that I wasn’t expecting. Br. Andre Love serves as the curator for the museum and recently created a mission statement for the museum. He is now in the process of curating pieces in the museum to follow that statement. I thought it was so interesting the variety of artifacts in the museum and was really amazed at the amount of taxidermy in such a small space. Sometimes I feel like the internet and other media have desensitized us to seeing things like this because we can access images anytime we want. This is unfortunate because I feel like when we get to see these things in person, we can become apathetic. 

We also got to walk through the library which was designed by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. The outside of the building was very plain and unassuming but walking in the space really seemed to open up and there was a clear focus on the books. I really appreciated the thoughtfulness of even little details (like the door handles) that Aalto designed. The interior was really stunning and I would love to come back another just to study and enjoy the space!

After visiting the library we sat in for the mid-day service in the chapel. I think this was the first time I had heard any Gregorian Chants in person and it was really amazing. The way the voices filled the space and echoed off the walls. I would love to come to another service with more people to experience what it would be like with the building more filled.

Overall the visit to the Abbey was really enlightening and opened my eyes a lot to the diversity of background that monks could come from. 

Sources

Video on  Monastic Formation from the Mount Angel Abbey http://youtu.be/fV7zdlaT-ZI

Mount Angel Abbey https://www.mountangelabbey.org

Three Monk Take Solemn Vows at Mount Angel Abbey http://www.catholicsentinel.org/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=35&ArticleID=26631