Monday, July 1, 2013

The Benedictine Bed and Breakfast

A group of Benedictine monks operates an extremely nice bed and breakfast in Chicago. We stayed there, and it put us in the middle of a diverse and highly interesting neighborhood in the city.

 The bed and breakfast itself is the first floor of a row house, and includes a living room, two bedrooms and a fully stocked kitchen. Calling it a bed and breakfast is not quite accurate; you get to cook your own meals, but everything works and the monks supply ample amounts of food.  It's a lot like visiting grandma's house in the city.

The presence of the monks in the city is a fairly recent phenomenon; their history is here. The physical center of the monastery is the former Immaculate Conception church, which was closed by the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1989. It has been repurposed into a place that mixes the ancient and the stunningly modern, all for the glory of God.

Kissy Missy and I had the opportunity to attend Sunday Mass at what is called the Monastery of the Holy Cross. The liturgy is a beautiful, ethereal mix of the ancient and the recent, done with Gregorian chant. The worship space itself, alive and reverberant, becomes a part of it all. In the midst of the city, it is a sound straight from the Middle Ages, alive still in the 21st century. 

St. Francis keeps watch over the garden, which includes strawberries and gooseberries. The Monastery of the Holy Cross is at 3111 S. Aberdeen, Chicago. Reservations are necessary; the monks take PayPal.

No comments: