Catholic University students create silent sanctuary

Catholic University students create silent sanctuary.

After two years, dozens of architecture students will see their plans for a silent sanctuary become reality this summer.

The sound of hammers is ringing in the woods behind D.C.'s Franciscan Monastery.

"This type of site doesn't exist in an urban environment," said project manager Patrick Keeney.

By July, it will be a sanctuary for silence.

“Sometimes people go to mountains to find silence or go to the ocean. Well, we're right here,” said Father Jeremy Harrington, Guardian of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land.

Commissioned by the monastery, students of the Catholic University of America designed D.C.'s first hermitage—a tiny home where anyone of any faith will have the chance to vacation in solitude.

"It's just a very healthy thing to do, no matter what faith you are,” said Father Harrington.

It's the first of four of hermitages that the students designed.

And for an architecture student, actually seeing the fruits of their labor is something most architecture students never see.

“A number of us came back to the construction site—it’s really a once in a lifetime opportunity for an architecture student,” Keeney said.

The monastery will serve as a quiet reminder of what students can accomplish.