Cozy prayer space

In St. Clement’s, rooms have changed over the years.  Many of the older Oblates remembered what the seminary looked like in the 1970s and ’80s.  Sometimes, I scratched my head and wondered whether we were still talking about the same building.

A few months ago, the chapel above the library was converted into a studio for various retreat videos and fundraising promotions.  (Check out some of the videos here.)  I have been fond of that chapel because it’s out of the way and quiet.  Then again, there was no ventilation and it was tough to pray up there in the frigid winters and humid summers.  But the postulants were left without any private prayer space.

On Jan. 10, Father Tom decided to give up his old corner office and convert that into a chapel.  Brs. Paul Nguyen, Brenden, Leland and I brought chairs, altar, vestments and vessels from the old chapel into the new space.  The smaller space proscribed kneelers and forced the altar to be ad orientam.  But the windows provided much needed light and ventilation.

Br. Paul brought down the credence table and we worked to slide it into the closet.  It fit perfectly.  “As if it was meant to be there,” Br. Brenden commented.

Now, the postulants have a chapel on their floor.  God willing, men in discernment and guests will find a quiet oasis to be with Jesus.

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