.- ‘The Monastery’, a new reality TV show slated to air this month on the U.K’s BBC 2, has reportedly left a deep spiritual impact on its five male participants, one of whom, an atheist pornography producer, who gave up his trade and became a believer. The men, none of whom are Catholic, spent 40 days and 40 nights living and abiding by the rules of a Catholic monastery in an effort to show whether or not the monastic life, instituted by St. Benedict over 1,500 years ago, still has relevance in the modern world.
A BBC press release said that: “Although from very different backgrounds, all five participants share a desire to see if life holds any greater meaning. They will be expected to abide by the monastery's rules, with a strict timetable of instruction, study, prayer, reflection and routine work duties.”
Fr. Christopher Jamison, Abbot of Worth Abbey, where the show was filmed, said that he saw “in this project an opportunity to discover what our way of life offers to people today who do not share our beliefs.”
"For the participants” he said, “we hoped that they would discover hidden depths in their lives and in those hidden depths encounter God.”
The experiment apparently worked, and all five of the men appear to be leaving the show closer to a God who most of them didn’t know coming in. One, a Cambridge student studying Buddhism, is reportedly now looking into becoming an Anglican priest.
Another became reunited with the faith he rejected as a child.
According to U.K.’s ‘The Telegraph’, in one scene, Tony Burke, the 29-year old pornography producer speaks emotionally into a video diary saying, “I didn’t want this to happen…when I woke this morning, I didn’t believe in this, but as I speak to you now, I do.”