From the grand to the mundane, life at Westminster Abbey in Mission, B.C., is anything but ordinary. This Side of Eden presents a poetic, compelling and richly intimate portrait of the Benedictine Monks in the days of Holy Week and the Easter Triduum. Young and old, able and infirm, the subtle splendor of their lives is interwoven with the quiet majesty of the natural world that surrounds them. Stunningly photographed and thoughtfully told, this film offers a meditative glimpse into a unique way of life which is grounded on earth but lived looking beyond.
This Side of Eden…
Fr. John Braganza, OSB
Abbot, Westminster Abbey
Mission, British Colombia
A crazy thought for each of us: one of the deepest motivations of my faith and my vocation has been this: my life began not in my mother’s womb but in the heart of my Father in heaven who knew me in his Son Jesus before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:3-6). The craziness of this thought came through my faith in God’s Word and in the example of married love and joy of my parents. The love of my parents was such that up to 18 years of age I was certain that to find happiness I should marry and have a large family. However, the love of God was such that the love he put in one human heart, through these parents, was too much for just one person! He wanted me for Himself and me for all his children, his Church.
At the heart of my vocation was one thought: I wanted to do now what I would be doing for all eternity. I was impatient! Little did I realize that St. Benedict in his Rule actually exhorts his monks to “do now that which will profit them for all eternity.” But what does one do in eternity? I was certain of one thing – all creatures praise God, rejoice in Him who has created them and redeemed them. This insight of praise is how I came to see the centrality of the Liturgy in the monastery – “to prefer nothing to the work of God... Read More
On a hill overlooking the Fraser Valley in Mission, British Columbia is a remarkable center of life, prayer, work, hope, and peace known as Westminster Abbey. Considered to be Mission's most famous landmark, with its striking bell tower and austere yet modern church, this renowned Benedictine monastery attracts thousands of visitors annually. Why do so many people make the journey up the hill in such great numbers? What are they seeking? Whom are they seeking... Read More
For over fifty years the Benedictine monastery Westminster Abbey has built a reputation for their liturgies.
It was the monks' celebration of the Easter Triduum that brought myself, director of photography George Hosek, and camera assistant David Leross, to the Abbey in April 2009. We were there to capture the unfolding of Holy Week and the powerful images that accompany the pinnacle of the Catholic Church's liturgical calendar... Read More