Bringing a Place to Life


Abbey Church, New Norcia, Western Australian Author Christopher Allen contends 'what brings a place to life is a sense of how the past lives in the present'. The Benedictine monks at New Norcia in Western Australia carry this out with dignity and precision. Steeped in the tradition of St Benedict, the ten resident monks welcome all to their humble monastery and guesthouse. The monks offer a morning Eucharist in the Abbey Church each day as well as the opportunity to join them in the saying of the Office of the Church.  Prior, Fr David Barry, an ex student of St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill in Sydney, spoke with those of us gathered for our Sharing Champagnat's Vision programme about the history of the Abbey and life at this rural settlement today.  When asked about Benedictine spirituality, he spoke of the Benedictine charism as simply a way into the Gospel, towards a relationship with Jesus.  He referred particularly to the importance the monks place on lectio divina as a process of spiritual reading leading to prayer. 'Our reading can end when prayer takes over' he explained.  The global Benedictine traditions, developed since the fifth century worldwide, continue to bring the rich Benedictine spirit to contemporary people.  For this, we have much to thank our faith filled Benedictine monks.  

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