French monks set to establish new community in Tasmania

french-monks-tasmania-photo-1By Matthew Biddle

The Benedictine monks from the St Joseph de Clairval Abbey in Flavigny, France, will establish a community of traditional monastic observance in the Hobart Archdiocese.

Fr Pius Mary Noonan OSB, who will leave the abbey of Flavigny to lead the establishment of the new foundation said the decision came after a long period of discernment and lengthy negotiations with the abbey authorities in Flavigny and Church authorities in Australia.

From the seventh century, Flavigny was the seat of a Benedictine abbey, until the French Revolution. The St Joseph de Clairval Abbey was founded in Switzerland in 1976, and there are about 50 monks in the community.

The monks are known for organising and hosting numerous retreats, following the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius Loyola. While most of these take place in France, the monks regularly host retreats in English-speaking countries, including Ireland, Wales and Australia.

Donations for the new foundation in Tasmania can be made to the following bank account: Account Name: Notre Dame Priory; Account Number: 10242562; BSB: 062654. Cheques, made payable to ‘Notre Dame Priory’ can be sent to: Notre Dame Priory, C/- PO Box 450, Picton, NSW, 2571.