Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

learn about the latest and greatest from the School of Business

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Ascetic Life at St. Bernard's Monastery

Students in Switzerland




On Tuesday, June 8, our group took a train to Martigny and then boarded a bus for the mountains. At a point about 5 kilometers below the St. Bernard pass we got out and walked along the trail used by the Romans to come from Italy into the Rhone Valley and from thence into central Europe. About 2 kilometers below the pass we put on snow shoes and climbed the rest of the way to the St. Bernard Monastery on the glacier.

We stayed at the monastery for two nights where we attended classes taught by Dr. Chris Fawson, attended a mass in the monastery chapel and performed a service project. For the service project we were recruited to assemble the kennels that hold the St. Bernard dogs who inhabit the monastery for the summer. The dogs are kept in the valley for the winter because the weather is too harsh at the pass (the rescue dogs of old who carried casks of brandy to stranded travelers were of tougher stock than the modern, pampered pooches who come to the monastery strictly for the sake of the tourists). The kennel project went well in spite of the fact that we were working in gale force winds, dense fog and misting rain for five hours. By the time we were finished everyone was soaked and chilled to the bone. It was hard work but the students did a fantastic job. The monks invited us to come back next year!

No comments:

Post a Comment