weathering the weather


Posted By on Feb 18, 2017

Update, Saturday, 18 February Thanks so much for everyone who has written or tried to call. I am having trouble keeping up with all the emails so I have written this up for now. We had the worst day of storms yet yesterday (Friday), pouring rain and winds up to 87 mph. Several trees have fallen on the property, including one large cypress in front of the church blocking our driveway. Our maintenance crew was on it right away and had it cut up and out of the way by 4 PM. Highway One at this point is totally impassable to the north and south of us. We don’t know what else is going on north but there are at least three slides between us and Nacimiento Ferguson Road (5 miles south of here). And Nacimineto Ferguson, the one road that the county usually keeps clear for escape from the coast, is also closed until next Tuesday due to “life safety issues”; so we are told is also Fort Hunter Ligget itself. I had to go to San Luis Obispo Tuesday and Wednesday for Fr. Ray’s funeral and just barely made it home Thursday in a little window of time when they had opened one lane, just as the next wave of storms was hitting. Our driveway is holding up, again thanks to our maintenance crew applying patches, but two spots are very fragile, and it is clear that we will need to do extensive repair work once things dry up. At this point it is still drive-able but we have cars at the foot of the hill and on the other side of the slide to the south of us just in case. We only have one working phone line at this point, and it is very difficult to call in. At this point our Internet is still up (miracle of miracles, thanks be to God!), and we have plenty of food and fuel. Hopefully this wave of storms will end by Wednesday and we can assess the damage and steps forward. We are all well, and the brothers have just been riding it out in their usual peaceful way. We are having our liturgies in the Chapter room to conserve on propane heat, and it is very sweet and intimate. (We are also watching a few more movies in the Rec Room to take our minds off of the weather.) Today the rains and wind stopped in early afternoon and we even had a peek of sunshine. Two of our staff tried to get past the first slide today. One guy turned around and came right back....

Read More

We’re pleased to share this very nice recent write up about the Hermitage, featured in the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Here’s an excerpt: “It’s not the Esalen Institute. It is definitely not a Ritz-Carlton, yet the New Camaldoli Hermitage is heaven on earth for those seeking a retreat lush in silence and contemplation. Perched above Lucia in Big Sur, about an hour north of Cambria, sits the hospitable hermitage — a type of monastery — where Camadolese Benedictine monks live in solitude, prayer and work. You and I are invited to partake. The hermitage offers rooms for those who feel it is time to live and breathe in silence and contemplation.” Read the full article...

Read More

Remembering Father Bruno


Posted By on Dec 2, 2015

Sunday, November 29 (first day of Advent) – We tolled the bells this morning just after the wake up bell at 5:15 a.m. and gathered at Fr. Bruno’s bedside for a vigil. For those who hadn’t heard, Bruno’s health had been declining and he finally needed to enter hospice care at an outside facility for a short period of time. We had brought him home just Friday noon and he died late Saturday evening. He had one of us with him the whole time and his dear friend Lynne had just arrived a few hours before. A momentous way to begin Advent! We will miss our beloved Bruno. Born Arthur Paul Barnhart on April 10, 1931, in Long Island, New York, Fr. Bruno was the only child of Arthur Chamberlain and Julia Barnhart. Fr. Bruno received his B.S. in chemistry from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He later received his M.A. in chemistry at Dartmouth, New Hampshire. Fr. Bruno spent 2 years in the Navy where he worked in lab tech biochemistry at Bethesda Naval Hospital. During his lab days Bruno lost sight in one of his eyes during an accident in the laboratory. After visiting the Trappists of Spencer, Massachusetts and Genesee, New York, Fr. Bruno contacted Fr. Modotti at New Camaldoli Hermitage. He arrived in Big Sur on April 9, 1959. Fr. Bruno professed vows in 1960 (simple) and 1964 (solemn). During the 1960’s he studied in Italy, receiving a STL degree from Sant’ Anselmo in Rome. Fr. Bruno served as prior of New Camaldoli Hermitage from 1969 to 1987, making trips to Italy every 3 years during that time to serve as a member of the Camaldolese Constitutions Committee. He has published several articles and five books (The Good Wine, Second Simplicity, The Future of Wisdom, The One Light (editor) and Purity of Heart (co-editor). He has given many retreats, conferences and workshops over the years. Since 1994, Fr. Bruno has served as editor of The Golden String, the official publication of the Bede Griffiths Trust. Check out the “Wisdom Christianity” video series by Father...

Read More

The hermitage was recently featured in Monterey County Now. Read all about it! Here’s a wonderful excerpt from the article: When famed travel writer and longtime Time Magazine essayist Pico Iyer was given the chance to travel anywhere in the world for National Geographic Magazine, he chose Big Sur and the New Camaldoli Hermitage. “I have been traveling all over the world for 40 years now, from Tibet to Ethiopia and my home in Kyoto, to Easter Island and North Korea and Bolivia,” Iyer writes by email from the less exotic locale of Glendale. “But I can honestly say that I’ve never found anywhere that changes me to the core as the New Camaldoli Hermitage...

Read More

New Private Hermitages Arriving!


Posted By on Oct 21, 2015

We are very excited to announce that the first of the 3 new private hermitages we are installing has arrived today. The other 2 are scheduled to arrive later this week.  All must be “craned” into their respective spots, and then the work of connecting them to our grid and infrastructure begins.  Then comes furnishing the interior and, finally, passing inspection by the County. We are still planning on these hermitages being made available for guests by the end of November. Of course that depends on weather, trenching success, and luck.  Please pray for the construction workers!  ...

Read More