Documentary highlights monastery - Catholic Courier

Documentary highlights monastery

Many thousand people have journeyed to Mount Saviour Monastery over the past half-century. Thanks to a documentary released in 2006, now Mount Saviour can come to them, in a sense.

“The Everyday” is a one-hour program filmed entirely on location at Mount Saviour, located at 231 Monastery Road in Pine City, Chemung County. The documentary, shot over a five-year period, focuses on the daily lives of the monks in residence. It features candid interviews with them on such key elements of Benedictine spirituality as hospitality, work, prayer and love.¬†The film also features selections from all seven of the monastery’s daily offices, or regular cycles of daily prayer.

Copies of “The Everyday” are available on both VHS and DVD. The DVD version includes several bonus features including a photo gallery filled with pictures of Mount Saviour throughout the years, additional psalms from the offices, footage of Mount Saviour in all four seasons and the complete audio from Compline (night prayer).¬†To see clips from “The Everyday,” visit

This video project was codirected by Matthew Kells and Sean McGinn of Spooky Truth Productions Inc. of New York City. It is narrated by Sister of Mercy Camille D’Arienzo of Brooklyn, a noted radio personality and frequent visitor to Mount Saviour. The documentary has already aired on several television stations in upstate New York.

“The Everyday” marks the second of two 2006 media releases about Mount Saviour. The Contribution of Monastic Life to the Church and the World, begun as a tribute to the monastery’s 50th anniversary in 2001 and published by Sacred Heart University Press, is a 196-page hardcover book containing 13 essays from notable religious figures who have visited Mount Saviour. As is the case with “The Everyday,” this book frequently contrasts Mount Saviour’s Benedictine spirituality with today’s secular world.

Mount Saviour was founded in 1951 by Father Damasus Winzen, who spent 18 years as the monastery’s first prior. His successor, Father Martin Boler, remains only the second prior in Mount Saviour’s 56-year history. Father Boler has resided there since 1955.

Mount Saviour hosts approximately 1,000 people per year for retreats and other programs. Father Boler emphasized that Mount Saviour is not an escape from the secular world, but a place for prayer and reflection on how to better cope with that world.

“It’s a real oasis in the desert, so to speak — which is necessary to go across the desert,” Father Boler said in a 2006 Courier interview.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For details on purchasing “The Everyday,” call the bookstore at Mount Saviour Monastery at 607/734-1688. For more information about Mount Saviour, visit

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