A Confessional from the Cathedral of Dol-de Bretagne – a gift to the new St. Olav Cathedral

When our parish priest Egil Mogstad mentioned that we were in need of a confessional for our new church, p. Marcel Gasnier, previous parish priest of the Cathedral of Dol said: “but we have one extra”! Archeologists had found an ancient well under the floor where the confessional was standing, and it had to be moved. It was stored in a nabouring monastery.

 

From the left: The Cathedral of Dol-de-Bretagne, one of the carriers with the confessional, the new St. Olav Cathedral.

With this gift the priests and parish members of Dol wish to develop bonds of friendship with St. Olav parish in Trondheim. The two enthusiast behind the project are P. Marcel Gasnier and Gilles J. Villartay. Both will be present at the inauguration of St. Olav Cathedral on November 19.  The confessional is now on its way to Trondheim.

The confessional was made in the middle of the 19th century, during the reign of Napoleon III. After the French Revolution in 1789 all monasteries were forced to close. The monastery Mont Saint Michel north of Dol became a prison. The confessional was made by the prisoners of Mont Saint Michel.

The Bretons consider St. Olav and his army the saviours of the young church in the then archdiocese of Dol. After Olav's conversion and baptism he and his men sailed to Dol, which was under heavy attack from Danish vikings. According to tradition, Olav's intervention sent the attackers fleeing.

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