New Podcast Episode – Angelico Surchamp (Part 1)


One year after his death, PJ and I have just published a new podcast appreciation of our friend and mentor, Dom Angelico Surchamp. This broadcast – “A Monk the Morvan” – is in two parts. In both, PJ and I converse and reminisce about our times with Surchamp and what he meant to us. The appreciation is purely conversational.

Dom Angelico Surchamp, September 20, 2011

In the broadcast I make a reference to the following picture of “mes deux pères” at the Basilique Saint Philibert in Tournus. It is a shame that the only picture I have of “my two fathers” is this horrible iPhone catastrophe!

Mes deux pères – Angelico Surchamp and Don Aubrey

The podcast can be heard at the link above or found at the following locations.

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Update: Part 2 of the Angelico Surchamp podcast has been published.

7 thoughts on “New Podcast Episode – Angelico Surchamp (Part 1)

  1. Fascinating. I wonder if in your conversations you found out what Dom Angelico thought of the re-ordering of churches after Vatican II?

    In Britain we call it wreckovation! It is so sad to see magnificent French altars partially obscured by the modern ‘table altars’ which have been likened to butchers’ blocks and ironing tables. In England with the exception of St Ethelreda’s in London all our Catholic churches date mainly from the turn of the last century or later (the l960s produced some horrible examples) but even here the difference between the pre and post Vatican II altars can be startling.

  2. Many years ago I was trying out my vocation in a Benedictine monastery where I discovered the Zodiaque book of photos of crucified Christs, and was completely knocked out by the beauty of the images. How wonderful that you were able to befriend the luminous Pere Surchamp.

    I am curious as well to know if he told you how he felt about the renovations to the churches over the past decade or so.

    1. Carl, he did tell us. He thought the restoration of Paray-le-Monial was “honteux “, but others he liked. I think he had respect for DRAC and the technical services of the Patrimoine. We were lucky to have him as a friend and mentor.

  3. The French churches actually benefited from the separation of Church and state in that all churches prior to 1905 (which I think was the date but correct me if I am wrong) now belong to the state and the local communes are responsible for the upkeep of their churches.

    From my limited experience of attending Mass in many different churches and cathedrals over the years in France it does look as though this fact has saved the High Altars there although most are now partially obscured by the replacement altars. At least they are still present. In Britain I have heard tales of nuns joyfully attacking old altars with sledgehammers. The destruction was as bad as that which took place during the Reformation. Beautiful statues were relegated to cellars – my own parish banished the statue of the Sacred Heart to the church tower for many years but happily the statue has now been brought back into the main body of the church. Another local church has also returned the banished statues discovered in a basement to the main body of the church. Ancient wooden statues are rare here as most ended up on bonfires.

  4. I was so deeply moved by this podcast that I read all of your wonderful blog posts of your luminous visits with Pere Angelico Surchamp.

    If I might humbly suggest a correction, in the post of 2017, in which you speak of dreaming to bring Pere Surchamp to Vezelay, you share a gorgeous photo of the light-infused statue of Saint Therese of Lisieux in the Basillique, which is mistakenly identified as a chapel of Saint Theresa of Avila.

    Aside from the correction, it is a wonderfully beautiful photograph!

    1. Carl, don’t know how I made that mistake, we know this statue and the chapel so well. Thanks for the correction and thanks for the kind words. Part 2 of the Surchamp podcast airs on Wednesday.

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