- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
The Hermitage Review
At the top of 206-foot Mt. Alvernia, the highest point in The Bahamas, The Hermitage is the final resting place of Father Jerome. Born John Hawes, he was an architect who traveled the world and eventually settled in the Bahamas. An Anglican who converted to Roman Catholicism, he built two churches, St. Paul's and St. Peter's, in Clarence Town, Long Island, as well as the St. Augustine Monastery in Nassau. He retired to Cat Island to live out his last dozen years as a hermit, and his final, supreme act of religious dedication was to carve the steps up to the top of Mt. Alvernia. Along the way, he also carved the Stations of the Cross. At the summit, he built an abbey with a small chapel, a conical bell tower, and living quarters comprising three closet-size rooms. He died in 1956 at the age of 80 and was supposedly buried with his arms outstretched, in a pose resembling that of the crucified Christ.
The pilgrimage to the Hermitage begins next to the commissioner's office at New Bight, at a dirt path that leads to the foot of Mt. Alvernia. Don't miss the slightly laborious climb to the top. The Hermitage provides a perfect place to pause for quiet contemplation. It also has glorious views of the ocean on both sides of the island. A caretaker clears the weeds around the tomb—which islanders regard as a shrine—and lights a candle in Father Jerome's memory.
- Address: New Bight, Cat Island
- Location: New Bight
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
What a discovery! Read more
Twice a year I have the opportunity to relive some of my fondness memories growing up in Nassau. Read more
My husband and I are currently restoring a historic island home in Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas. Read more
· News & Features
It's not too late to book a festive Christmas cruise to the Caribbean! ... Read more
Here are 11 reasons to sit at your computer on Cyber Monday and click away in pursuit of your next beach... Read more
A babymoon in the Bahamas has one order of business: you must do absolutely nothing.... Read more