BUILDING NEW MONASTIC MISSION ON CHARLES BANK
"Cowley Fathers" Putting Up Headquarters of Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge
A touch of the medieval is being transplanted to the Cambridge bank of the Charles river, where on Memorial Drive just above Boylston street, the Society of St. John the Evangelist is building its new monastic mission house. Eventually this new building will be the mother house of the society in this country, superceding the quarters now occupied at 33 Bowdoin street, Boston. At present, however, none of the new plant is in use except the little chapel, St. Francis' House, which for over a year has been used as the order's chapel for the University.
Cowley Fathers Are Familiar Sight
The Cowley fathers, who will occupy their new home as soon as it is completed this spring, are already a familiar sight, in their flowing black capes and broad-brimmed hats, about the Yard and Harvard square. At present those of them who are administering to the needs of Harvard students are living in a small house at 14 Oxford street, rented from the University. At their head is the Rev. Granville M. Williams, although the work is under the general supervision of the Rev. Spence Burton '04, father superior of the Boston mission.
Contrary to the impression some have gained from their habit, the order is not a Roman Catholic one, but is a part of the American Episcopal Church and the Church of England. Its priests have come to be known as the "Cowley fathers" from the mother house of the entire order, which is at Cowley St. John, Oxford, England.
Only one wing of the contemplated monastery is being built this spring. It is located on one edge of the property, and will eventually be a part of the larger edifice which will be built around three sides of a hollow square. For the present, however, the wing will be complete in itself, with a chapel, common room, reception room, refectory, kitchen, and a number of cells. Modern construction and plumbing will do much to make the edifice more comfortable than most of the old continental monasteries, but the furnishings will be simple and without luxury.