Friday, February 11, 2011
Mount Angel Abbey: Right in My Backyard
I took my parents on another Wednesday Wanderings this week. Our destination was the Mount Angel Abbey, located about a dozen miles northeast of Salem. Here's a description from the Abbey's brochure:
Mount Angel Abbey is a community of Benedictine monks founded in 1882 by the Abbey of Engelberg in central Switzerland. The Abbey shares a monastic tradition that has been a vital part of the Roman Catholic Church for more than fifteen hundred years.
The Abbey adventure starts with a lovely tree-lined drive up the hill, Stations of the Cross all along the roadside walking path.
We then arrived on the campus of the Abbey and started our visit using the self-guided walking tour that was available in a brochure.
First stop, the Abbey's Museum. The museum unexpectedly turned out to be more of a natural history museum than a religious one. We discovered pig hairballs right next to a crown of thorns. And a mutant calf right next to the Class of 1953 photo op! It was eclectic and random. My kind of museum.
We continued on our walk, roaming the grounds and visiting the church (where a monk was playing the huge pipe organ on the second floor), the library, monk's cemetery, and finally a cup of coffee in the Abbey coffee shop.