Br. Paul, “Night-time hermit”

Brother Paul Quenon is interviewed for the PBS “Religion and Ethics” program. He was inspired by the example of Thomas Merton to become a monk, and has since published several books of poetry.

The lumber shed at the Abbey of Gethsemani in northern Kentucky. It’s late February. Each night at 8:00, Brother Paul Quenon walks to the shed, as he has every night for 20 years. He goes around back, where he finds his mattress. This is where he will sleep—outdoors, no matter the weather.

BROTHER PAUL QUENON (The Abbey of Gethsemani): I can’t be a full-time hermit, but I can be a night-time hermit, and there’s something about waking up in the middle of the night, and there’s nobody around. There’s a kind of an edge of solitude that you cannot experience in any other way.

Both a video and a transcript of the program are available on the website.