All the monks I designed for my "possibly will someday write" short story, It Takes a Monastery. I actually finished these a little over a month ago.
I highly doubt ANYONE will read all this stuff, but if there's one of these guys that looks interesting, you can read a little about him.
((And this is just all of the monks. Not including the other 7 gals I made. I basically created and developed 21 characters in 3 days. That's not supposed to happen. ))
----All of the monks are either directly inspired by or pulled characteristics from real men, that is, the Monks of St. Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison, Kansas.
These are basically me, attempting to design and work with finding what I liked best. As you can see, some look the same all the way through, others vary and then a few of them… what is consistency? |8U
Br. Dominic especially. Need to work on him some more.----
Br. Joseph Pallesen
The main character.
Br. Joe is as his name describes, ‘your average joe.’ He’s a simple and quiet man and a long time member of The Order of Saint Benedict. Br. Joe is in his early 50s but still has the same high spirit he had in his youth, though if he attempted to climb a tree, it might hurt him a little more than it used to… Luckily, tree climbing is not a common activity for him, unless he has to fetch the Abbey’s cat, or remove dead limbs, with which he usually has the help of another monk.
Br. Joe does all the landscaping work around the Abbey, pretty much owns the garden, and is never afraid to get down in the dirt and do the hard work, though his back regrets it later. Aside from his work outdoors, Br. Joe has been the established Porter for the Abbey for several years, which is a very important position in a monastery. As the Porter, he does most of the necessary interacting with the world beyond the Abbey, being the one to welcome and aid guests and visitors. If someone rings the bell of the Abbey’s door late at night, he’s the one who goes to them. As the Porter is sometimes the only monk a visitor will see, Br. Joe’s simplistic, cordial and mellow nature make it quite obvious why he’s the man for the job.
Ab. Jerome Beckings
At the time in which the story takes place, Jerome has been the Abbot for almost 3 years, but still is just as nervous and doubtful of his abilities as when he was first elected. He rarely lets this on to his fellow monks though; only to God in his prayers and work every day. The Abbot before him had worked very hard to keep the Abbey afloat, along with the town they provided assistance to, during the hard times of the Depression, and Ab. Jerome is now under pressure to pull of the same feat, which gets harder and harder every year.
Ab. Jerome is a fairly stoic individual whose voice is stern and resounding and carries an authority that’s tough to ignore. When problems arise, most of the time, his initial desire is to bash his head against a wall (or someone else’s), but he’s usually able to keep quiet until he’s sorted things out in his head and is ready to respond without any rash judgments or actions. He’s well respected by his fellow monks for being fair and understanding with internal issues and never leaving the ends of a problem unresolved.
Fr. Timothy Herriot
Fr. Timothy is the Prior of the Abbey, that is, the “2nd in command.” As Ab. Jerome’s most trusted friend, the Abbot will usually come to him with more personal issues and concerns for advice rather than the council, and if the Abbot is for whatever reason, gone or unable to function as an active leader, then Fr. Timothy assumes control. He also helps to keep Ab. Jerome informed on all things that may have missed his attention. Fr. Timothy is soft spoken and lighter hearted than the Abbot, more willing to laugh at things and let what is beyond his control pass without over stressing about them.
Before joining the Benedictines, Fr. Timothy was ordained as a diocesan priest, and was assigned to an up starting parish, with the mission to help it grow and flourish. His experiences as a leader in such a situation have given him insight and wisdom that proves to the saving grace for Ab. Jerome time and time again. Fr. Timothy is kind of like the aloe to the burn, backing the Abbot’s authoritative words with a comforting reassurance of sorts, that everything will work out, and peace will follow the storm.
Fr. Nathaniel Wells
In the event (that many of the monks consider absolutely horrifying), that both the Abbot and the Prior are unable to lead the monastery, then Fr. Nathaniel, the Sub-Prior takes over. None of the other monks are quite sure why Ab. Jerome and Fr. Timothy chose him as the Sub-Prior, because no one really cares too much for Fr. Nathaniel. He’s not a very approachable individual and tends to be a little puffed up, which is heavily warned against in the Rule of Saint Benedict on the subject of Priors. Despite his rather arrogant side, Fr. Nathaniel does house talents that the Abbey would be lacking without him. Fr. Nathaniel is a strict minded, by-the-book, ordered person. He’s got the Rule memorized like the back of his hand, is very educated in Scripture and Doctrine, and likes to keep everything nice, neat and ordered, which is sometimes needed when disaster strikes and brings its friend chaos along.
He can get a little annoying at times though, as he can tend to come off with an “I know better than you” sort of vibe, even with the Abbot. He’s also terrible about lecturing people, and most of the monks are wearier of being admonished by him rather than the Abbot.
Br. Ignatius Roth
Br. Ignatius, or Br. Iggy as he’s been lovingly nicknamed, is the youngest monk in the Abbey. He entered as a postulant at the remarkably young age of 17 and at the time of the story, is 19. Aside from being the youngest, he’s also the most flighty, nervous, and panicky of them all. His go-to reaction for most things is usually along the lines of, “WE’RE GOING TO DIE” or hyperventilation. His anxious personality combined with his age and incessant clumsiness often cause him to back track on all his actions and words and frequently wonders if he should have joined in the first place. Luckily for him, his fellow monks have his back, and he’s never without someone to ask advice from.
Br. Ignatius works in all corners of the monastery, helping out whoever could use a hand, though he spends most of his time helping Br. Joe and Fr. Asher.
Fr. Asher Leon
Once you hear Fr. Asher’s voice, you don’t easily forget it. Deep and resounding off the walls of the Abbey’s Church, he’s usually the one leading the Liturgy of the Hours. Fr. Asher is the closest thing to the “Grandfather” of the Abbey, with the kind of personality that makes you wonder if he really is. Fr. Asher is the Cellarer of the Abbey, which in the Rule of Benedict is a role with a place of more importance then the Prior. As the Cellarer, it’s Fr. Asher’s job to maintain the physical aspects of the monastery to allow for the Abbot to be more focused on the spiritual. He oversees all the materials, food, and supplies within the monastery and how they are used, so if a monk or someone outside the Abbey is in need, it’s him they come to.
Fr. Asher is usually seen with Br. Ignatius hot on his tail, willingly sharing in his daily tasks. The two share a special father-son relationship, governed by a tough-love policy. After Br. Ignatius completed his time as a postulant, it was Fr. Asher who insisted the most that he be allowed to join, despite doubts of the young Brother’s commitment. Fr. Asher is also the one who started calling him, “Br. Iggy.”
Fr. Theodore Sibal
Though iconography is a more predominant feature of Eastern monasticism, Fr. Theodore has a special love for the art and specializes in the restoration and creation of icons. Of course, his style has a bit of a Western twist to it, but his work still carries out the job of scared imagery, pointing the attention to God on the walls of the monastery and the parish that he served as a diocesan priest before joining the Order. Fr. Theodore is also the monastery’s Librarian and works hand in hand with Br. Paul in keeping both the Abbey’s literature and history preserved in its archives.
Fr. Theodore is a congenial person, though a little awkward to talk to at times. The way he uses his sense of humor in his speech often leaves the others wondering whether or not what he said was meant to by funny or serious. Usually, he means to be humorous in what he does and every now and then, his odd antics and words earn him the laughs he works hard for.
Br. Cassian Ayers
Br. Cassian, or “Cass,” is the monastery’s official prankster. However, he’s quite honest about it, and always is ready to help fix whatever kind of mess he’s made, so no issue has been taken up with him about his antics, though Fr. Nathaniel would really like to let him have it from time to time. Br. Cass has a snarky personality and is constantly having to check himself, or be checked to go back into the more monastic style of life.
Br. Cass is also the appointed Sacristan of the Abbey, meaning it’s his job to make sure that all materials, vestments, and sacred items are ready for every service. Ironic that such a position was given to the man most likely to release a bucket full of frogs into the Abbey.
Oh yeah, and he names everything ‘Ramirez.’ And I mean everything.
Br. Sylvester Lowry
Br. Sylvester is the oldest monk at the Abbey. Due to his fading voice and eyesight, he’s long since forfeited the role of lead cantor to Fr. Asher but if there’s ever a question about how something should be chanted, where a song should go, what form to use… Br. Sylvester will be the one with an answer. Of course, if you want to ask him a question, you might have to speak up and repeat it a few times, because he has a habit of hearing the wrong things, and then getting very offended when he mistakes, “What mode should be used for ‘Veni Sancte Spiritus” for some kind of personal insult against his grandmother.
Age and years of living the monastic life have done nothing to mellow his temper though. If there’s one monk you don’t want to make angry, it’s him. He can’t do much to hurt anyone, and wouldn’t if he could, (probably), but some fairly harsh words are known to come out of his mouth, usually directed at Br. Cass or at Ab. Jerome. Everyone though, (except Br. Ignatius of course) has learned to not take it personally and move on.
Fr. Warren Fowlers
Fr. Warren is the Novice Master for the Abbey, meaning he’s in charge of looking after and being an immediate guide for those hoping to join the monastery, and those recently professed. Recently, he’s not had much to do, however, with Br. Ignatius being the only newbie and having taken more of a liking to Fr. Asher. Fr. Warren doesn’t mind though… there are plenty of other things to be worrying about, like what Br. Sylvester may be up to, or keeping Br. Cass from getting his ears chewed off by Fr. Nathaniel. Fr. Warren also spends a lot of his time helping administer the Sacraments at a local parish.
Personality wise, Fr. Warren is even harder to read than Fr. Theodore, when it comes to, ‘was he joking or being serious?’ Most of what he says is delivered with a smirk that rarely leaves his face and a flat tone of voice. Once you get through the sarcasm though, he’s a caring individual.
Br. Paul Marinov
Br. Paul first came to the Abbey when he was hiding from threats to his life sprung from racial hate due to his biracial background, which at the time the story takes place, is not well accepted. After spending a good deal of time with the monks and the surrounding community, he felt a tug, pulling him to the monastic life and with careful discernment, gave his life as a monk. Br. Paul is now the happy-go-lucky archivist of the Abbey. He knows the history and construction of the Abbey up, down and all around, and is the first to notice any kind of problems with the buildings and is kept updated about the Abbey grounds by Br. Joe. Br. Paul’s hand can be found in many other places though, as he helps Fr. Theodore in the library and Fr. Asher with the Abbey’s finances.
Even with the trials he’s faced before joining the monastery, Br. Paul is undoubtedly the most forgiving and optimistic monk in the Abbey. He can always find a silver lining through the rain and has helped the Abbey get through some of its toughest times with his hopeful and faithful outlook on life.
Br. Basil Ottosson
Br. Basil is that one guy. And by that I mean, he’s that one guy who joins a monastery living by the Rule of the Father of Western monasticism and chooses the name of the Father of Eastern monasticism. Of course, he chose Basil as his monastic name due to his admiration of the Great Saint’s work with the poor and sick, but still.
Br. Basil is the Abbey’s Infirmarian. He’s the closest they have to a doctor, more of an apothecary of sorts, and has a special talent for the care of the sick and elderly. He’s a very quiet man, with a strong devotion to silence. He rarely speaks unless absolutely necessary, and when he does talk, it’s with his head leaned so close to yours, and his voice so low, you’d think he was passing on the most important secret in the world. Br. Basil also has special permission from the Abbot to work outside the monastery, with the people in the local town. Due to the economic depression the sick need all the help they can get without having to spend money to have a doctor come and help, so he does what he can to provide aid there. Most of the monks assume that’s why he’s so quiet, as a monk outside the monastery has to work extra hard to preserve his monastic life style.
Br. John Kennard
He is just happy to be here.
Br. John came from a rich family and a lavish lifestyle and spent the majority of his youth moving from place to place, trying to find his happiness. Now, a rather newly professed monk, he could not be happier, as he’s sure he’s finally found the place he ought to be.
Br. John works in the Abbey as the Refectorian, working in the kitchen and dining room and under the direction of Fr. Nathaniel, keeping the Abbey clean in general. There’s nothing he enjoys more than this quiet time, alone with his thoughts and God as he works and has a habit of whistling that absolutely drives Br. Sylvester up the wall. Of course... a lot of things drive him up the wall.
Br. Dominic Sousa
Br. Dominic is the second youngest monk in the Abbey, at 23 years old, and along with Br. John is a newly professed monk, having just completed his three years as a junior. He is also impossible to draw the same way twice.
Br. Dominic is the main care taker of the Abbey’s small farm, consisting of chickens and geese. He has a special way with animals, and is the only monk capable of entering the midst of the geese and coming out without bruised legs. He is also discerning joining the priesthood, but has made no sound decision yet.
Sorry just like hot dog this is incredible
As I said in that incredibly wordy description.... >.> I based all of these designs off of real men, a group of Benedictine monks here in Kansas. If I handed you pictures of them, some would be more obvious than others, but it was a really good and beneficial exercise to create characters based off of 14 very different men. Really helped to expand upon my rather set, facial structures compartment... XD