InFormation (2021) Moments in Time 

Moments: Monastery Moves From City's Tumult

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 16, 1956

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Click to enlarge. In the lead paragraph of this article, the reporter begins with the sentence, "In a Normandy woodland, back from the road far enough to escape the intrusion of garish signs and motor fumes, the big, sprawling brick building has become a skeleton, austere and still."

This is a eulogy to 67 years of occupation, serving the monastic life of the Passionist Fathers. Five monks remain behind to continue their studies at St. Louis University. A ghost town, echoing the footfalls, the prayerful silence, the Gregorian chant, and the occasional laughter of the many men who passed through.

Father Campion Clifford, C.P. described the summer move conducted entirely by the priest, brothers, and seminarians in residence. That is followed by the reporter's own words on the "vigorous and regimented life" these men led.

Father Neil Parsons, C.P., Provincial at the time, approved the move under the auspices of the Father General in Rome, Malcolm LaVelle. Father Thomas More Newbold, C.P., the Rector in Normandy supervised the move and went to Warrenton as rector of the new MGC and Our Lady's Retreat.

Click to enlarge. The new facility in Warrenton is anticipating an occupancy of more than 180 priests, brothers, and seminarians. The Passionist first came to St. Louis as early as 1884 and Normandy was the third residence within the city.

Father Campion's last words conclude this eulogy: "This summer, as we prepared to move, the last two trees died." (Full text to the right)

A moving synopsis and farewell to a long tradition. The future awaits. The men will remember. And the Passionist mission will continue.