All around the Fairfield/Gettysburg area, there are farmhouses and barns built in the very style the Nuns are striving for in their own monastery.
When their journey began several years ago, the Nuns were told over and over again their vision couldn't be achieved. No one builds that way any more! And it's true, our modern building structures aren't meant to last 1000 years. They're meant to go up quickly and cheaply, only to be torn down in a few decades to be replaced with something else.
But the Carmelite charism is timeless. And it isn't replaceable.
Instead, the Nuns's vision for their new monastery is one of timeless beauty, simple functionality, and austere living. Their monastery is designed to last a millennia or more, just as the churches and monasteries of medieval Europe were built. Stone cottages pepper the landscape of Ireland and Scotland; in France, entire villages built in the 16th century are still standing today because of their building methods. And our American forefathers and craftsmen designed their homes and farms in just the same fashion when they arrived centuries ago.
Built by hand, craftsmen erected their structures using only the stone and timber they sourced from their own properties. Cleaning, sanding, chiseling - piece by piece they laid their stone, and log by log, they raised their walls. This is the Carmelite vision: this is what St. Teresa of Avila had in mind when she designed her monasteries.
And this is precisely what the new monastery will be: Timeless. It will be a monastery our grandchildren and our grandchildren's children will look at and say, "Our granddad built that!"