Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The third monastery's a charm

Jean-Louis Pagès, the architect for the new monastery building (are you listening, all of you who have monasteries and seminaries closing in your areas?) at St. Michael's Abbey in Silverado, California, speaking at L.A.'s Pacific Club last spring:
After the construction of the two monasteries [that he designed] in Le Barroux [France], I received an invitation to an exhibition in Rome, entitled: 'Twenty years of Christian buildings in the world.' On my invitation card were some words from Pope John Paul II, 'The one who builds the house of God gets a room in heaven.'

Unimpressed by this, my father, 99 years old at that time and knowing me better than the Pope, looked at the invitation and said: 'Maybe for you, even two monasteries are not enough.' Since then the fathers of St. Michael have reassured me and told me 'With a third monastery we think it's OK.'