In just a decade, the Benedictines of Clear Creek have made great progress at their monestery in Clear Creek, OK

Our Lady of the Annunciation of Clear Creek is a monastic foundation of the French Abbey Notre Dame de Fontgombault, itself a foundation of Saint Pierre de Solesmes.

Over the years Solesmes started new monasteries, one of which was the Abbey of Fontgombault in France. Fontgombault in turn, after having sent monks to three monasteries in France, in 1999 started one in Oklahoma on a 1,000 acre chunk of Oklahoma countryside.

On March 20, 21 & 22 several Old St. Patrick parishioners, Paul Villotti and Joe Farris visited the monestary for a private retreat. Paul had been there before on several occasions along with members of his family to help clear brush and fabricate some out-buildings for the farm. It was a very peaceful and prayerful weekend. The monastery is so remote and isolated that there is no shortage of "quiet space." Assisting the monks at Holy Mass and attending the hours of the office with them is a very moving experience. The several photos below show the progress that has been made over the years. It is considerable.

The photo above is a shot of the Crypt - the lower level of the eventual church. This is where the monks now celebrate Holy Mass and chant the the office until the church is built which will be the next phase of the construction project. The crypt has enough altars to allow perhaps twelve monks to celebrate Holy Mass at the same time which is what they do during the Low Mass that is being celebrated at the main altar. 

The second picture is a shot of the walk-way along the court yard side of the monastery building. Eventually the court yard will be fully enclosed by four buildings including the church and three wings of the monastery. Note the ceiling above the walkway is beautiful cedar wood.

The third picture is of the courtyard itself. In the center is a well which is over 300 feet deep. This well supplies the water for the monastery and the farm operation.

The last picture shows a side view of the crypt. The tall brick tower to the left is on the end of the monastery wing and houses the water tower that stores the water from the well mentioned earlier. The wing on the right side of the picture is the Gate Keepers office. This is where the monk who is designated as "Porter" receives guest and visitors. It also is the location of the book store.

The 34 monks of Clear Creek, some of whom are from nearby states, raise sheep, cattle and have a milk herd. They also have a saw mill where they cut timber and cure it in one of three drying houses from one to three years depending on the thickness of the cut.

You are encouraged to visit their website or better yet make a trip to Clear Creek monastery. Be sure to call or email ahead of time for a reservation. You can get more information from the website about visits and accommodations.

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