The Camaldolese Oblate Community of Australasia is part of the world-wide Camaldolese Benedictine Family of monks, nuns and oblates. We are connected directly to New Camaldoli Hermitage, Big Sur, California, USA. The guidelines and inspiration for our community are The Rule of Benedict and The Simple Rule of St Romuald.
Our group is ecumenical and is composed of people who reflect different states of life: lay people, married and single, priests – diocesan and hermit. The oblates are a group of Christian men and women who experience an attraction to rediscover their inner centeredness within a centuries old worldwide spiritual tradition.
The community began in Australia in the early 1990’s when a small group was received by Bede Griffiths, a Benedictine monk, in Shavtivanam , India. In the mid 1990’s we transferred our stability as oblates to Big Sur and received the faculty from the Prior there to begin a formation programme and receive new oblates here on behalf of New Camaldoli. Our current Regional Chaplain is Fr. Michael Mifsud, who lives in Warburton, Victoria. We are under the direction of the Prior of New Camaldoli and the Oblate Chaplain, Fr. Daniel Manger. A Council of oblates guides our direction and functioning.
The threefold charism of solitude, community and witness, the Triplex Bonum, speaks to many in our contemporary world. What the Camaldolese call the ‘Privilege of Love’ unites us and opens us to be hospitable to each other and the workings of the Spirit in the Church and the world.
Members of the community feel a call to be deeply contemplative and meditative, to live simply yet fully, on the fringe, yet in the world. We are devoted to promoting ecumenism, and peace through fruitful dialogue among all peoples, cultures and religious traditions. We are also committed to the preservation and enhancement of the environment through responsible stewardship of the earth. Romuald is said to have wanted the whole world to have been his hermitage. We wish to bring his ideals to fruition in the world today through the Spirit in which we live and move and have our being.
Camaldolese Benedictine Oblates are a group of Christians, men and women, who experience an attraction of the Holy Spirit to deep prayer and experience a bond of friendship with the Camaldolese monastic communities throughout the world and their long spiritual tradition.
The New Camaldoli Hermitage of the Immaculate Heart, Big Sur in northern California, was founded from the Holy Hermitage of Camaldoli, Italy, in 1958. Today as in the past, Holy Hermitage of Camaldoli is considered to be the head and mother house of the congregation.
Saint Benedict, as author of the Rule for Monks, has always been considered the Western Church’s lawgiver and master of monastic living. Saint Romuald and his disciples – the Camaldolese – also profess this Rule. During his period of reform, 1,000 years ago, Romuald wrote a brief rule that is to this day the backbone of the Camaldolese tradition. (see Brief Rule page)