Spencer monastery featured in new documentary on the Mystical Life

In 2018 Wes Cannon and Anthony Farenwald approached us at St. Joseph’s Abbey with their concept for a documentary about our monastery. With the Abbot’s permission they interviewed some of the monks and discreetly filmed us at prayer. Anthony & Wes co-directed and produced the film which they eventually entitled The Cloud of Unknowing.

The short film explores connections between Christian mysticism, monasticism and urban spirituality, offering a visual and observational exploration of contemplation, Christian mysticism and the quest for God. The film is meant to raise the question: What if there’s more to all of this? The Cloud of Unknowing won Best NH Short Documentary at the New Hampshire Film Festival 29 and was accepted into the Orlando Film Festival as well as the Bend Film Festival. The film will also be making its broadcast debut on Vermont PBS the day after Christmas 2019.

Wes and Anthony describe making the film as a spiritual journey, as they observed us and got to know our beloved Fr. Matthew who died not long after the film was completed.  When we asked if we could put their film on our Abbey website, Wes wrote: “Making this film was very meaningful to me, and we would love for the film to have a home on the Spencer Abbey website. It’s really an honor. It’s very special that the film was able to resonate with you. That’s always our hope as filmmakers, and we’re very encouraged that the film is able to reflect some of the beauty of your monastic life.”