Abbey of the
Most Holy Trinity
p. John Herbert
New Norcia Road
Western Australia 6509
Abbot p. John Herbert
Community of New Norcia
The New Norcia community consists of ten monks and fifty staff. The monastery and monastic township are surrounded by twenty-thousand acres of farm land (broad-acre cropping and sheep) and pristine native bush. The primary purpose of the community is to live the monastic life; to care for the local parish; to be economically sustainable (own revenue, grants & benefactors); to preserve and conserve its heritage; and to share this heritage (daily tors etc) and our spiritual life (liturgy, spiritual direction & retreats) with our visitors. Along with the usual monastic activities, the community owns and runs a museum, art gallery, hotel, roadhouse, and education centre (for visiting school groups), and with various stakeholders produces olive oil, wine and abbey ale. We are committed to the preservation and development of our significant library, archives and movable heritage collections. In addition to our retreat and Institute for Benedictine Studies programmes, we host an annual library lecture, studies day, and writers’ festival. The community is enriched by the presence of oblates, volunteers, and the New Norcia Aboriginal Corporation.
Holy Trinity Abbey, New Norcia was founded in 1846 by two Spanish Benedictines, Dom Joseph Serra and Dom Rosendo Salvado, In 1867 it was made an Abbey Nullius, and remained so until 1982. The early missionary monks concentrated on evangelising the Aborigines in the Victoria Plains as well as providing pastoral care to white settlers.
In 1908 Abbot Fulgentius Torres founded the mission of Kalumburu in the far north of Western Australia. In 1981 the mission was handed over to the Diocese of Broome.
A succession of schools at New Norcia provided education for Aboriginal and white children, from the earliest years of the mission until New Norcia Catholic College was closed at the end of 1991, for lack of enrollments and funds. A number of religious orders were involved in the schools, notably the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, the Marist Brothers, the Missionary Benedictine Sisters and the Good Samaritan Sisters.
Prayer is the primary work of the monastery – along with Mass, the Offices of Vigils, Lauds, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline are celebrated each day. Monks also engage in a variety of pastoral work, in manual labour in the house and gardens, in studies and administration, and in a number of crafts. An important apostolate is the monastery guesthouse, where visitors can make private or directed retreats, or just enjoy the peace and tranquility of the countryside. The New Norcia Institute for Benedictine Studies offers a number of study weekends for those who wish to delve deeper into monastic spirituality. The monastery is developing the township into a centre of heritage and culture. The historic buildings, the art gallery and museum are appreciated by large numbers of visitors.
The Benedictine Institute Retreat brochure has been attached.