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New Norcia Benedictine Community
New Norcia Road
New Norcia WA 6509

Getting There

Main Office

T: +61 8 9654 8018
F: +61 8 9654 8097

Friends of New Norcia / Volunteering

T: +61 8 9654 8018

Museum & Art Gallery

T: +61 8 9654 8056

Group Accommodation & Education Centre

T: +61 8 9654 8018


T: +61 8 9654 8018

Visit New Norcia

People visit New Norcia for many reasons; for spiritual retreat, to join a tour and see inside the magnificent buildings or sometimes just to walk around the town and enjoy the peace and beautiful scenery.

In this section you will find all the information you need for your visit to New Norcia. Details of places to eat and places to stay, details of the town tours and information about some of our favourite things to do in Australia’s only monastic town.

We recommend your first port of call is the Museum & Art Gallery to speak to one of the staff about the attractions and experiences New Norcia has to offer. The Museum & Art Gallery is also a Visitor Information Centre and is the point from which town tours leave.

Stay at New Norcia

There are so many different options for accommodation at New Norcia.

The Guesthouse is perfect for a quiet, retreat like experience - a world away from the rigours of modern life. You can join a Benedictine retreat here or be housed in the Hermitage for a silent retreat. Groups can be accommodated in the Old Convent or the historic boarding school colleges. Smaller groups are also able to book the Hostel, with its comfortable rooms, neo-classical architecture, scenic deck and heritage veranda, as well as St Ildephonsus' Cottage.

Please click on the areas on the right for more information.

Eat & Drink

Hospitality is a tenet of the Rule of St Benedict, the Rule by which the monks of New Norcia live, so wherever you choose to eat in town, our aim is for you to experience warm monastic hospitality.

Education & Research

From the earliest days of its foundation New Norcia has been focussed on education. The first Abbot, of New Norcia (Rosendo Salvado) established the Aboriginal girls and boys schools and the second Abbot of New Norcia, Fulgentius Torres built and opened the European girls and boys schools, which closed in 1991.

Since the closing of the schools, New Norcia's school buildings and grounds have been utilised by groups undertaking education programmes.

However, New Norcia also has a tradition of research and academia, with its impressive archival records and library collection, and scholars and researchers alike have delighted over the years in the information available in the town's records.

This section also provides information on the archives and library and provides link to forms which will give you access to the records of New Norcia.

Protecting a Unique Heritage

New Norcia is Australia’s only monastic town and has a unique heritage. Founded in 1847 by Spanish Benedictine Monks, the town has had many purposes; a mission, a monastery, a provider of education and now as a place of spiritual retreat.

Delve into the town's unique history, discover the ongoing and completed work necessary for the upkeep and restoration of this special part of Australia.

But it is not only the majestic buildings set amongst the Australian bush that sets New Norcia apart; its history is also encapsulated in the archival records of New Norcia and in the library and museum collections.

In this section we also have information about how you can donate to New Norcia to help the Community restore and maintain this treasure.

What's Happening at New Norcia

We hold a diverse array of events throughout the year at New Norcia.

Each year we host a full programme of events including a spiritual retreat programme presented by the Institute for Benedictine Studies, dinners at the New Norcia Hostel and a few other surprises!

Watch this space for all the updated information about "What's on at New Norcia".


Another Diamond Jubilee

On the feast of the Passing of St Benedict (March 21st) the monastic community travelled to Perth to visit Abbot Bernard Rooney in celebration of his diamond jubilee of ordination at the Little Sisters of the Poor (Glendalough) where he now resides in state-of-the-art care.

Our infirmarian and domestic procurator Dom Daniel organised a beautiful afternoon tea, including a lavish celebratory anniversary cake.

Along with viewing the photographs of Abbot Bernard’s ordination sixty years ago, the occasion was made extra special by the presence of the sisters, and the gathering enjoyed sharing stories of the privileged gift of religious life. Abbot John concluded the celebration with a special jubilee blessing and Abbot Bernard gave a moving heartfelt response…delighting us with his own blessing as he waved us farewell.

In the 1960s, when New Norcia was still an Abbey Nullius with an ecclesiastical territory embracing an area of approximately 30,000 square miles, it had its own monthly publication, “PAX”. This was printed at “The Record” office in Hay Street, Perth, and contained news from the local parishes, the Australian Church and the Catholic Church in various countries.

The April issue in 1964 contained the following item:


The third Abbey student to be ordained to the priesthood within six months is Rev. Father Bernard O.S.B., who returned recently to New Norcia after being ordained by His Eminence, Cardinal Gilroy, in St. Patrick’s College, Manly, on March 19th last, the Feast of St. Joseph.

Dom Bernard, whose elder brother, Father Brian Rooney, is a secular priest in the Sydney Archdiocese, and who also has a younger brother in Manly Seminary, is the first New Norcia Benedictine to be ordained in Sydney for many years. Dom Bernard (baptized Robert David Rooney) was born in Earlwood, Sydney, in 1934 and was educated by the Sisters of Mercy, Earlwood, and the Christian Brothers, Lewisham. On leaving school, he was employed by Tooth’s Brewery and later for five years as a clerk with the Registrar-General. He was also a part-time student in Law at Sydney University. He took an active interest in amateur dramatics and in 1956 led the winning team in the N.S.W. Debating Society. In 1957 he entered the Monastery of New Norcia and made his Solemn Profession in 1962.

Father Bernard was assisted at his ordination by his brother, Rev. Father Brian Rooney, and celebrated his first Mass at the Church of Our Lady Help of Christians, Epping. On the following day, March 21st, he officiated at the Sung Mass in the Community Chapel of the Benedictine nuns at Pennant Hills.

On Sunday, April 5th., Father Bernard was celebrant of High Mass in the Pro-Cathedral at New Norcia and later, in the abbey at a “Laudate” held in his honour, was the recipient of the felicitations and good wishes of the Lord Abbot and members of the Community. During the week, he offered Mass at the various chapels of the Monastery, Colleges and Institutions of New Norcia.

Father Bernard has been appointed Assistant-Prefect of Clerics in the Abbey, and occupies, also, the office of professor of Church History.

“PAX” offers to the new priest its sincere congratulations and best wishes for the future success of his vocation.

Great activity in the Abbey Press!

The three great champions of the New Norcia Abbey Press were here for the first week of March, namely Claire and David Bolton (UK and Perth) and Geoff Moor (Perth).

There was such energy, joy and enthusiasm in the Press all week!

We all took our walking town tours through the press and quickly discovered that it was going to need a little (to a lot of) extra time, given all the questions from the tour people and the enthusiasm of Claire, David and Geoff.

What with David talking type faces, Geoff and or David demonstrating the old treadle operated Arab press, and Claire talking people through the binding exhibition pieces, the energy was fantastic.

Always Learning…

Abbot John took the opportunity during a recent visit to Perth to catch up for a pint with members of Acceptance Perth LGBT Catholics, who enjoyed participating in one of the Benedictine Experience Weekends in the monastery guesthouse.

While the feedback we receive from letters, emails and ‘How was your visit’ cards is very beneficial, it’s always good to chat with people face-to-face about their experience of New Norcia.

For the most part, feedback is always positive, encouraging and supportive…and there’s always room for improvement.

We look forward to welcoming Acceptance Perth back to New Norcia.

Guesthouse Aircon Installed

The Guesthouse lounge and dining room have recently had air conditioning installed. The retreat groups in February were delighted by this improvement. It made the retreat sessions on 40+ days very pleasant.

Improvements have also been made to the Upper Guesthouse rooms with the purchase of new console tables and bedroom chairs.

Blessing of the Roads during Holy Week

On Holy Thursday morning the annual blessing of the roads took place at the New Norcia bypass lookout. The service was well attended, including monks, locals, shire representatives, and emergency services personnel.

The service commenced with Victoria Ford deputising for Joshua Moody welcoming the gathering to country. Victoria is a Yued woman, a descendent of Apical ancestors Yuroba and Utonga Jakimarra/Moody lineage.

Katrina Humphries from the Shire of Victoria Plains then gave a formal welcome and read a litany of injuries and fatalities that have occurred over recent years on the Victoria Plains roads. She made special mention of the extraordinary dedicated service provided by both career and volunteer first responders.

Assisted by Calingiri resident Susan Woods and Shire Councillor Pauline Bantock, Abbot John proceeded with the blessing ceremony, which included the sprinkling of the road and the gathered community with holy water. After the final blessing, everyone was invited to lay a white rose in recognition of and sign of respect for those who have died in road accidents in the Shire.

Afterwards, a lavish morning tea was hosted by the Benedictine Community in the newly renovated refectory in St Ildephonsus’ College.

L-R Gavin Halligan, Shire President Pauline Bantock and Shire CEO Sean Fletcher.
L-R Emma Kelly (Ambulance), Victoria Ford, Jane Graham, Gavin Halligan (Ambulance and Chief fire warden).

The Easter Triduum 2024

Accommodation was fully booked for the Easter Triduum with 105 people staying on site, and a great deal more who came for individual services.

Holy Thursday highlights the servant nature of Jesus and follows the Gospel of St John in the foot washing in the upper room, followed by the liturgy of the Eucharist then the transfer of the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose in the Spanish chapel in the monastery and a vigil until midnight: Stay with me, remain here with me: Watch and pray.

Good Friday commences with combined Vigils and Lauds in the Oratory, known as Tenebrae (Latin for darkness) characterised by readings, chants and the gradual extinguishing of 14 candles.

At 3pm in the afternoon, following the liturgy of the word, is the very special Adoration of the Cross. Abbot John solemnly carries the cross through the Church pausing 3 times and all sing Ecce Lignum Crucis. Then all members of the congregation have the opportunity to come and venerate the Cross.

This is followed by distribution of the reserved Eucharist, and then all depart in silence. A Taize service was held in St Gertrude's after Compline.

Holy Saturday begins with Tenebrae and is punctuated with Midday Prayer. At 10:30am as an aid to this time of deep reflection on Holy Saturday, Fr Robert and the team of musicians and singers who join us each year blessing us with beautiful liturgical music put on a concert in St Gertrude’s, featuring the nocturnes of Frederick Chopin.

At 4:30am on Sunday morning we gathered around the fire at the monastery gate for the blessing of fire and lighting of the Paschal candle, then process into the Abbey church where each person lights a taper from the Paschal candle, filling the church with the light of Christ.

After being seated, all candles are extinguished and in darkness 7 readings from the Hebrew scriptures are proclaimed, each with a responsorial psalm. After the last, the Gloria is sung, and the church bathed in light.

The Epistle and Gospel are read. There is then the litany of the saints, blessing of the font, renewal of baptismal vows and the liturgy of the Eucharist. We were all then invited to a lavish festive Easter breakfast in the monastery parlour.

The Morning Mass at 9am on Sunday was well attended by locals and beautiful singing from the parish choir. The Triduum concluded with solemn paschal vespers in the choir of the abbey church accompanied by the Moser organ.

We were all blessed with another special Easter at New Norcia.

Monday eases back to the normal monastic schedule of prayers, but the monks participated in a dies non, a monastic tradition of a whole with no timetable.

New Norcia Studies Day - Saturday 25th May 2024

This year marks the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the Spanish ship Ferrolana bringing new recruits to New Norcia, amongst whom were two very notable passengers, Jerome Rodoreda and the diarist, Francisco Marsá.

To mark that anniversary, New Norcia Studies Day is delighted to be able to present the following papers in the morning session:

Tom Stephens AO
“Ferrolana” - 175th anniversary of the arrival of the first large group of NN Benedictines.

Gillian Rodoreda
Jerome’s great-grand-daughter
Meeting Geronimo: the unexpected story of a ’no persevero’ Benedictine recruit, Jerome Rodoreda 1831-1910.

The afternoon papers will be:

Emeritus Professor John Kinder
The Canon of Ancona: Raffaele Martelli and New Norcia, 1853-1880.

John has been fascinated by Canon Martelli and his years long correspondence with Bishop Salvado. In addition to earlier papers at New Norcia Studies, John has recently finished a biography of Canon Martelli thus wrapping up his research over many years too.

Jim Longbottom
St Gertrude’s College Chapel ornamentation - the artist and the poet.

Jim’s talk will look at the relationship between the beautiful dome (pictured) in St Gertrude’s College Chapel and a poem about it that appears at the end of the 1916 Monastery Chronicle.

The first two papers will be complemented later in the year by the launch of the Marsá Diary, translated by Abbot Placid Spearritt scholar, Marta Pérez-Rey.

Registration opens at 9.00 in St Gertrude’s and the proceedings start at 10.15. Quite coincidentally, the papers will be presented in St Gertrude’s College Chapel itself thus making Jim’s paper on the 1916 poem rather more striking.

Costs for the day are $105 (includes morning and afternoon teas, lunch, and admission to the museum and art gallery) and $95 for concession holders.

See you there!

Groups Bookings at New Norcia - Suggested Day Programme 2024

Your Day at New Norcia

Time Item Description
10.00am Arrive at New Norcia
10.30 pm Private Tour 1 hour with a tour guide dedicated to your group. An opportunity to see ‘behind closed doors’ in Australia’s only monastic town. Your guide will introduce you to New Norcia’s eclectic Monastic, Aboriginal and European heritage as you see some of the town’s richly decorated buildings, 27 of which are listed on the National Trust and not otherwise accessible to the public. Other highlights include the Flour Mill, Abbey Church and beautifully frescoed college chapels.
12.00 pm Monastery Oratory (optional) Join the monks for midday prayers inside the Monastery Oratory. All faiths are welcome.
12.30 pm Lunch (optional, not included in price) Experience old world grandeur by having lunch in the dining room of the beautiful New Norcia Hostel. Please inform us of your meal preference at least 7 days prior to your visit and if there are any dietary requirements.
1.30pm Museum & Art Gallery New Norcia is home to one of the finest collections of moveable heritage in Australia. Gifts from the Queen of Spain and a fascinating array of artefacts tell the story of New Norcia’s 170-year old history. The galleries feature religious paintings by Spanish and Italian Masters and Australian Contemporary Artists.
3.30pm The Gift Shop Free time to browse our shop and pick up last-minute gifts and goodies. The shop offers a range of local produce including New Norcia Abbey Wines, breads, Nut Cake, Pan Chocolatti, New Norcia Olive Oil, art, books and music.
4.15 pm Leave New Norcia Taking with you some special lasting memories. Have a safe journey home and thank you for visiting our beautiful town.

Bookings can be made through the New Norcia Museum.
Please call 08 9654 8056.
Special group rate for the town tour and museum entrance is $20pp.

Easter Moon

A poem by Rose van Son

Lent over and the Holy Week begun
sky fixes the moon in a new harvest.

As I meander in the dark, you
low on the horizon, city lights
hang like a cross, I sleep again.

When I rise you will sleep
slipped behind buildings
fall to earth like a star.

I have risen you will say
I will come again.

One last look from my window
to see your great heart but you are gone
as if you never were.

Calendars Now Available

Hot off the press - the 2024 New Norcia calendar features the works on paper of Fr. Lesmes Lopez OSB from an exhibition in St Ildephonsus’ large and small dining rooms.

This calendar shows the liturgical calendar as celebrated by the Benedictine Community of New Norcia.

Purchase the calendar