Day 96

A night in a monastery

June 30th, 2010

I showed up on the doorstep of Assumption Abbey last night, and the monks took me in like a brother. They let me stay in the room affectionately called the "bum room" or, as brother Odo refers to it, the "Knights of the Road" quarters. Brother Odo took me up to the cafeteria to dig out something for dinner, and the two of us sat there, he cracking jokes and me eating (although he did join me for some ice cream), all the while taking in the stunning view of the prairie. This morning I got to eat breakfast with the monks, an activity done in silence, which reminded me of a great scene from "The Frisco Kid", if anyone's seen it.


  1. Andrew in VT says:

    Good choice for an overnight stop. Did you plan this stop, or did you just happen to find the abbey?

  2. Barb C. says:

    This picture is totally beyond words. All I can think of is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

  3. Barb C. says:

    I forgot A Great Big Thank You to brother Odo for taking our Matt in and giving him a safe place to stay and food to eat.

  4. Linda in Michigan says:

    I love this picture. It’s so beautiful. I loved getting a glimpse into the cafeteria too. Thanks for taking time to share your pictures.

  5. Candice In Alabama says:

    What a beautiful church!

  6. Amity says:

    What an amazing, memorable experience!

  7. Stimple says:

    What a great visit! And what a great set of websites – the Walkin’ site and the monastery site. How interesting is all of this? Thanks for letting us “walk” your journey with you – both Walkin’ and Assumption.

  8. Kevin from NC says:

    My nephew is bicycling from east to west coast with a group from the U of Illinois to raise money for cancer research, , and they have spent many nights at local churches who have volunteered to host them for the night and meals. How nice!

  9. I love all the architecture, all the angles and all the details in this building. Simply magnificent! I love the colors of the bricks, the windows, the roof, how it all goes together to create the beauty in this architecture. Wow. What a beautiful place. Just awesome!

  10. Sandra says:

    thats so neat :)

  11. Jeff says:

    First, my brother, I say The hobo got the bum room. I am glad you had what seemed to be a relaxing evening of food and conversation, and ice cream too. Like I have been saying – all brothers and sisters – easy concept -we just need to act like it.

    So if I got this right…One night you stayed with Presbyterian church in NJ during the storm. You stayed with some Jewish friends in Illinoise at Kabitz of sorts..and last evening you stayed with the catholics. Now all you have to do is find a few of the others and you will have complete enlightenment, grasshopper.

    I have felt a spiritual thing throughout the coat tails of OUR adventure with Matt….and this seems to just add another moment to say – some diety – is guiding a path that is teaching us a lesson or two.

    Peace my friend. Hope you fixed your hat.

  12. carolyn says:

    Didn’t the silence just want to make you be bad or giggle? My mother used to cook for priests and they ate like Kings. I hope you had a similar meal.

  13. Bill L. says:

    Beautiful story! Monks are often misunderstood. It’s not all somber silence.

  14. Janna in Alabama says:

    This is so cool that you got to stay with them. I had went to their website this morning. Safe walking to you!!

  15. Karen Too says:

    Fantastic, and appropriately dizzying, shot. I am glad to hear that you got to stay there last night; sounds like a wonderful experience.

    Beautiful architecture.

  16. Emily says:

    I have been following along with you for some time and just want to let you know that someone who is not able to travel, but would love to do it as you are, really appreciates your sharing.

  17. Evangela says:

    This is the first time for me to comment but I have been following you daily, addictively, for the past three months or so. I must say that this has got to be the coolest places of your evening encounters. talk about being memorable. Your whole experience is wonderful and I think this is marvelous. Now i am going to be following this Abbey’s blogs too.

  18. Susan says:

    I’ve stayed there before! Ask them to show you the library, too! It’s huge! They used to have a university there.

    If you visit in the winter you can join the younger monks for sledding on the hills!

    Oh, and ask to see Brother Llewellyn’s pottery study and workshop upstairs above the laundry. It is absolutely stunning! He lives the dream life of an artist.

    They also have some wine in the basement. And a print shop. And probably other things. The interior of the church is even more beautiful than the outside. They’ll let you sit with them in the choir stalls.

    As you head out of town you can also visit the women at Sacred Heart Monastery. Maybe not as spectacular but they have adorable llamas and a wind turbine!

    Thanks! I’m really enjoying following along on your journey!

  19. Hugh says:

    What a nice surprise to see this picture and to read your story. It gets better everyday.

  20. Mom says:

    Thank you to the kind brothers who took our Matthew in!

  21. MN Roxanne says:

    Thanks Brother Odo…. Matt’s not your ordinary bum…he’s special to many…. thanks for taking him in and feeding him. What a beautiful piece of heaven on earth you have there.

  22. Craig (Yeah..From NC) says:

    If ever a time came when I was so jealous… now would be that time.
    You are so lucky in your findings!

  23. chalk mark says:

    In French, ‘brother’ is abbreviated ‘Fr.’. so did that make this fella ‘Fr.’Odo? Huh? Wut?! Sounds like someone was putting you on.

  24. Owen (Minneapolis) says:

    I am always amazed at the kindness of people….what an awesome adventure you are on!

  25. Sarah says:

    What a neat experience!

  26. Fran in Georgia says:

    Top 10 for me!

  27. Laurenis says:

    This is AWESOME. Hands down, awesome.

  28. Dan in LA says:


  29. Linda in Miami says:

    what a gorgeous church and the view from the cafeteria is just stunning! Thanks to the kind brothers for putting matt up for the nght!

  30. Janine says:

    Way cool! Thank you Br. Odo, and the brothers of Assupmtion, for taking care of Matt!

  31. Tom in Alabama says:

    I’m glad you landed on the monastery doorstep… I bet it was exciting for them too, to have an adventurer stop for the night.

  32. 'gina says:

    Eating breakfast in silence is a great experience, I have had this experience when visiting convents……..breakfast comes after morning prayers and the silence during breakfast is inner reflection.

  33. mindy says:

    you are very lucky (blessed)

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