joe buck rides again (miscellanium) wrote in little_details,
joe buck rides again

bedroom in a bell tower; trans* in seminary?

I'm writing a story set in Ronceverte, West Virginia, sometime during or after the 1970s, and want to use the town's Catholic church as the main stage.

Problem is, I'm not too clear on where the administrative or residential quarters tend to go in small/parish churches - my art history textbooks don't quite address that sort of detail, and searching online for permutations of "romanesque revival architecture" or "blueprints" or even "bedroom in belltower" hasn't helped in the right way. There's a Protestant church near my neighborhood and it looks like its priest has a separate house next door, but I don't know if this is anywhere near standard practice for small Christian churches.

Some helpful images of the church are here, and here's a three-quarters view I pulled from Google.

Would it be possible to have a residential room in the bell tower, or would that be completely nonsensical and only a stairwell can go there? And what about things like a kitchen, study or library, i.e. living quarters?

And - just to cover my bases - would it be possible for a trans* man to get through Roman Catholic seminary without being kicked out, if he's going stealth? None of my (admittedly cursory) research on RC seminaries has indicated any potentially serious/dangerous situations, so I was assuming yes, but when you assume....

Thanks in advance!

ETA: Thank you to everybody who provided answers and stimulating discussion. For future tag-browsers, the comments also cover details of daily rural parish business; the day-to-day life of a rural parish priest/pastor; seminary life; RC thinking on transgender people in general as well as in the ministry; and there's some good discussion of RC thinking on personal sacrifice and faith.
Tags: usa: west virginia, ~architecture, ~religion: christianity: catholicism, ~transgender

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