After an interruption of more than four years, we are delighted to have the construction crews back to continue building the abbey. The work now involves not the abbey church, but a much-needed west wing of the residence building to house the growing number of monks–currently least a third of the monks are housed outside the completed residence building Our architect Mr. William Heyer, is developing the plans of our first architect, Thomas Gordon Smith, of recent memory. Father Abbot announced this intention in a letter to friends, and again gives details on the project in another letter to friends. Below you can see the progress of the construction, and even videos by the Manhattan construction company.
For those who have followed our construction enterprise here at Clear Creek—Building Something Beautiful for God to Last a Thousand Years—or who have actually visited us, it is no secret that our construction project, though moving forward, needs to be completed. The main impetus for completion is the fact that over 20 monks (and the number is growing!) continue to live in Spartan conditions (in woodsheds and the like), because there is not a sufficient number of cells within the Abbey. And so it is that we have decided to construct another residential building to the east of the complex, the traditional building we refer to as the “Chapter House.” The Chapter House will provide not only the much needed cells for the monks to live in, but will include the Sacristy, the Infirmary, classrooms, and of course, the Chapter itself, the room where so many important acts of a monastic community take place (such as elections), the room where each day a chapter of the Holy Rule of St. Benedict is read in Latin. Of course our primary objective is to finish construction of our abbatial church, God’s house, but at the same time we have to make space for the vocations that are coming our way.
Our architect, Mr. William Heyer, who faithfully continues to elaborate the plans originally drawn up by his former teacher of architecture and mentor at Notre Dame University, (Professor Thomas Gordon Smith, our first architect), is hard at work filling out the details of the Chapter House Building (see illustration), which we began constructing in May 2021.