Cat Island, Bahamas


The islandís stated claim to fame is that it has the highest point in The Islands of the Bahamas - all 206 feet to the top of Mount Alvernia. At its peak is The Hermitage, a monument to a beloved Cat Island figure, Father Jerome.

A diocesan architect, he retired in 1940 to Cat Island where he continued to work on church designs while building his hermitage. It was his home for the last decade of his life. When he died in 1956 at age 80, he was interred in a cave just below it.

The rock-strewn climb is fairly arduous with a few steps carved into the solid rock here and there and with 14 stations of the Cross lining the approach to the summit. The building, (a bell tower, chapel, kitchen, study, cloister, shower room, sleeping quarters - all minute, just enough for one man, catering to each function of the hermitís life) seems to grow from the rocky ground.