Father Francis



Father Francis Xavier Kavanagh was one of the founding members of the Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, GA. He, along with 19 others, formed the Trappist Monastery in 1944. Father Francis is widely remembered by most of the students and visitors who came to the grounds for his role as guest master. He was the face and voice of the monastery for many of the guest who came in seeking information and spiritual counsel.

Chris grew up in the Conyers area. He visited the grounds often as both a “tourist” and as an artist seeking inspiration. The beautiful southern landscape lends a lot of natural beauty to the grandeur of the abbey grounds.

I like the style of this painting. Chris jests that I’m “digging deep” for this painting because it’s from so long ago. I think that the geometric lines and shapes that compose the face, juxtaposed against the rounded crown of the Father’s head are captivating.

There is a mysterious, almost secretive shroud around the monastic lifestyle. I’ve often pondered about the type of faith that it would take to live a life devoted to monastic practices like prayer, service, solitude, silence, and the Trappist skills like baking bread and making wine, beer, and cheeses. The devotion that these men have to their crafts and to their faith is unparalleled. Chris does a beautiful job of capturing a glimpse of the father, incorporated into an artistically blended and beautiful expression.

My question is this – What are your experiences with Monks, Nuns, and Monasteries? Have you visited the grounds out in Conyers? Ever enjoyed a food or product made by the hands of one of these skilled craftsmen?


Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.

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