Exploring Benedictine traditions

By Associate Professor Katharine Massam
Co-ordinator of Studies – Church History

As part of the intensive subject Prayer and Hospitality: Benedictine Traditions in Australia participants recently spent eight days at New Norcia in Western Australia. The group lived in the monastery guesthouse, and joined the monks for the daily round of prayer and work, with input on Benedictine and wider monastic traditions of Christian community.

The former mission town of New Norcia was founded in 1846 by the Spanish Benedictine monks Rosendo Salvado and Joseph Serra on the lands of the Yued-Noongar Aboriginal Australians of the Victoria Plains District in Western Australia. Since that time visitors to New Norcia have been surprised by the complexity and fragility of the town and the resilience of the people, both European and Aboriginal, who have lived there.

Katharine Massam has co-ordinated this popular subject every second year since 2003, and this time the group was privileged to be joined by Sister Veronica Willaway OSB, a Yued-Noongar Aboriginal Australian who welcomed us to her ancestral country and shared her own experience of Benedictine life. Sister Veronica will be in Melbourne later in October for events at Pilgrim and in collaboration with the Catholic Missions Office.

Katharine has been kind enough to share some images of the week that were taken by Rev Dr John Smith, UCA chaplain to the subject.

Images, top to bottom

C003217-R1-22-22A[1] C003217-R1-23-23A C003217-R1-14-14A C003217-R1-12-12A C003217-R1-08-8A C003217-R1-07-7A C003217-R1-05-5A C003217-R1-02-2A