New Camaldoli Hermitage Needs Your Financial Support!
A message from Prior Cyprian Consiglio:
I have often used the word ecosystem to describe New Camaldoli, which applies to both our community and our geography. As many of you will have no doubt heard by now, the central coast got walloped by an ‘atmospheric river’ of rain these past months, continuing into the present moment, which destroyed dozens of sections of Highway 1 and badly damaged our own entrance road. This storm is historic in terms of the damage it has caused and a true catastrophe for the people and businesses of Big Sur. The roads to our north and south could be shut down for months while they are rebuilt. Every business in the affected Big Sur coast will be closed or greatly cut back for the foreseeable future.
Our property is right in the middle of the most fragile part of the highway and so we are totally cut off at several points from all comings and goings. Ours was one of the first areas to be severely impacted by the storms. This is part of living in a beautiful and wild place like Big Sur, and what being “a place apart” entails. This ruggedness is also part of the special beauty that people love about the Hermitage, and why guests and retreatants are so grateful to be here.
The community here at the Hermitage, monks and staff, is “holding this space,” as we say around here—and in this case, holding it through the storms and rock slides––for the sake of everyone in our larger circle of friends, oblates, and fellow monastics near and far. It has also been an opportunity to reconnect with our neighbors and bond with new ones, especially those who were and continue to be stranded along with us.
Unfortunately, though, hospitality is our primary source of income, and we have not been able to receive guests for nearly two months, which is a huge financial blow to the Hermitage. We have now had to cancel all reservations for the month of March, and that may continue into April and May, depending on how fast repairs are done. So, like many others here on the coast, we’re in a position where we could use some support in getting through this season of storms.
We estimate that when the Hermitage is able to reopen we will have suffered a loss of $300,000 in income due to the closures caused by the heavy rains, severe flooding and mudslides. The cost is mounting every day we are not able to welcome guests. In addition to the lost income, the repairs and rebuilding needed for our entry road alone is estimated to be above $100,000 and could go as high as $250,000. And we must pursue these repairs as soon as possible, to allow resumption of vital fuel and food deliveries to the Hermitage. Thus you can understand the truly catastrophic nature of the damage cause by these storms.
Please consider making a gift at this time either via our emergency relief GoFundMe campaign or by direct donation on this website:
Your tax deductible gift will help us sustain our daily needs until we are able to reopen our doors to our beloved oblates and friends, retreatants and visitors.
Throughout all of this, we are well, thanks be to God. And we continue to live our simple life of Prayer and Work in the heart of the Church. I send you our thanks and, as always, a promise of our prayers.
Fr. Cyprian and the Monks and Staff