New Norcia Benedictine Community
New Norcia, Western Australia
New Norcia (pronounced Nor-sha) was founded in 1847 by two Spanish Benedictine missionaries who had been sent to Western Australia by the Pope. For many years, it served the people of the region, including the Aborigines, providing education and evangelization to children. Rare for that time was the sympathy shown to indigenous people by the (mostly European) monks. Schools were founded, parishes were established and staffed by monks from New Norcia. Although the schools have all been closed since 1991, the monastery continues to flourish, providing lodging and tours of the town to visitors, along with an Education Center and a Museum and Art Gallery. The Guesthouse provides visitors with the opportunity to participate in the prayer life of the monastic community and to retreat from the cares of the world. It is a new site for the Benedictine Volunteer Corps, and the first volunteers will be sent there summer of 2014.
Since New Norcia is a brand new site for us, we don’t know exactly what service the Benedictine Volunteers will be engaged in. They may be involved with guest services, providing hospitality, maintenance and grounds work, or all of the above and more. They know that they are pioneers of the Saint John’s Benedictine Volunteer Corps, and are ready and willing to get the program established in Australia.
Those Who Have Served
2014-2015: Ben Precourt and Joey Kinnan