From the Director’s Desk
The human being can be accurately characterised as the ‘animal quaerens’- the being whose nature is to search. Within our Benedictine tradition, the search for God forms the ultimate raison d’etre of our human life, and our fundamental existential teleology. This search for God cannot be separated from the search for truth, for meaning, for beauty, for goodness- since in God, the Summum Bonum, all intellectual, aesthetic, moral and spiritual values ultimately converge. Thus the Rule of St. Benedict recognises that it is in the context of the temporal that the eternal is to be approached, and that it is through the human experience that the Divine is to be encountered.
The offerings of the New Norcia Institute of Benedictine Studies for 2018 present a diverse and challenging set of opportunities for advancing in this search for God. On the one hand, our retreats will focus deeply on methods of prayer, on the spiritual disciplines, on the cultivation of silence, and on the mystical tradition of Christianity. On the other hand, our various study weekends will encompass a range of fascinating topics, including history, literature, theology and art, all of which articulate with our Benedictine heritage.
The monastic Community of New Norcia cordially invites you to peruse the retreat and study opportunities contained in this brochure, and sincerely hopes that you will discover something of interest to you.
With all blessings.
Fr. Robert Nixon, osb
To register and pay for any of the retreats, study weekends or Benedictine Experience weekends please click link to go to the webshop. Please note there are two pages of weekends on the webshop.
Annual Institute Day 2018
We are delighted to invite you to a very special ‘Annual Institute Day’ on the 25th August. Our theme for this year is ‘The Encounter of Christianity and Contemporary Culture’.
The keynote speaker for this year is Dr Paul Tyson, a leading Australian philosopher, whose researches have focused on the encounter between Christianity, modernity and post-modernity. His is the author of many articles and books, and has taught at the University of Queensland, the University of Nottingham and the Australian Catholic University. His lecture is entitled Real Value and Meaning for our Times, and will argue the need for our society to recover the realities of ‘meaning’ and ‘value.’
In the afternoon, there will be a discussion panel, on the theme ‘What can contemporary culture learn from the Church, and what can the Church learn from contemporary culture’. A range of experts from diverse backgrounds will lead the discussion, including Dr. Angela McCarthy (Lecturer in Theology, Notre Dame University), Dr. Paul Tyson, Dr. Liam Lynch (Lecturer in Cultural Studies, Curtin University), and Tom Gourlay (President of the Dawson Society for Humanities).
Finally, there will be a musical recital by Fr. Robert Nixon, osb, featuring a selection of original compositions.
A splendid lunch and morning and afternoon tea is included within the programme of the day, as well as a pass to our museum and art gallery. A concessional price is available for those eligible.
The day commences with registration and morning tea at 10:00am, at St. Gertrude’s College, and will conclude at 3:15pm.
Calendar of Events
Feb. 16 2018toFeb. 18 2018
Led by Dom Robert Nixon. The Psalms, which form the basis of the monastic office, exist in a greater variety of English translations than any other part of Scripture.
Feb. 23 2018toFeb. 25 2018
Led by Fr David Barry osb. Lent is a time traditionally devoted to spiritual purification and refinement in preparation for Easter, including by means of the disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. This retreat will help participants to embrace Lent prayerfully, and with an openness to the graces it offers.
Apr. 20 2018toApr. 22 2018
The Missionary Experiences of the Benedictines at New Norcia and Kalumbaru: A Mutually Enriching Cultural and Spiritual Encounter.
Led by Abbot Bernard Rooney and Fr Anscar McPhee. New Norcia was founded as a mission to the Indigenous people, with the intention of proclaiming the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ, and providing assistance to the local people in a multitude of ways.
Apr. 27 2018toApr. 29 2018
Benedictine spirituality is more readily experienced than defined. These weekends in the monastery guesthouse (beginning with Vespers at 6.30 p.m. on Friday, concluding after lunch on Sunday) provide the opportunity to enter fully into the monastic rhythm and balance of prayer, work, lectio divina, hospitality, and community life.
May 11 2018toMay 13 2018
Led by Abbot John Herbert. Lectio Divina is the meditative reading of Scriptures, and is a fundamental practice of Benedictine life.