Father Patrick J. Scanlan, seen here in a photograph of 1984 at the age of 87, has had a full life as a priest and as a Trappist monk in England and later in China where he was detained by the Japanese. His later years were spent as a parish priest in California where he now lives in retirement.
Father Scanlan kept his family informed of his activities with a series of diaries over the period of his lifetime. He now presents them in book form. The result is a highly interesting story of the life of one Catholic priest.
This book is written in an easy light style which reads quickly with great clarity. Simultaneously with the unfolding of his special call there emerges in all its simplicity the delightful, thoroughly good and mischievous personality of Father Pat best epitomized as the "chief of the black market."
He also relates with authentic Christian joy one of the most tragically cruel episodes in modern monastic history ― that of the destruction of the Trappists communities of Yang Kia Ping and Liesse and the martyrdom by the Communists of 33 of his confrères. Yet Father Scanlan's obvious joy has a note of authenticity; it derives from the mystery of communion in which he participated as a Catholic Christian monk. The apogee of the life of this priest is his part in the destiny of Yang Kia Ping. The events that surround the last days of this great abbey are beginning to reveal a beautiful dimension to the grace of authentic community life.
From the Foreword by Abbot Thomas Davis, O.C.S.O. Abbey of New Clairvaux, Vina, California
Click on the pictures ...
Father Patrick J. Scanlan in 1984.
BLACK MARKET WALL (EAST)
The building in the picture would be the morgue, and was also the place where the trappist monk, Father Scanlan, was confined after he was caught buying eggs in a "black market" operation. At the time of his confinement there was a funeral for a priest who had died of cancer, and I was assigned the task of sneaking down from the burial ground (the vantage point of the artist) to the small building and passing a flask of water to Father Scanlan. The feat was successfully accomplished.