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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".


Welcoming the Mippy Family

Abbot John makes a special presentation at the New Norcia Studies Day.

It is my great pleasure to welcome members of the Mippy family, descendants of the late Aboriginal Elder Edward Mippy, more affectionately known as Ned. Ned and the Mippy family have a very special connection with New Norcia.

Stephanie Mippy and Abbot John

On Wednesday 15th May 1957, a young man from Sydney Bernard Rooney arrived in New Norcia to begin his postulancy, the first step of becoming a monk, and in his case, the first step towards eventually becoming the fifth (and first Australian) Abbot of New Norcia.

Whilst Abbot Bernard’s monastic journey took him in many different directions and involved different ministries – for example we recently celebrated with him the 60th anniversary of his priesthood – what he witnessed on the bus from Perth on that day (the ill-treatment of four Aboriginal women in the back seat of that bus) not only had a profound effect on him, but shaped a particular personal passion, the “dream of working for the cultural renewal of the Aboriginal people.”

It is a wonderfully rich and complex story, too complex to go into any detail here, suffice it to say that it involved a unique, extraordinary relationship between Ned and Abbot Bernard. This relationship of mutual respect, trust and hope resulted in a substantial fulfilment of this dream.

One major aspect of this project of cultural renewal was the publication of the Nyoongar Dictionary, The Nyoongar Legacy – the naming of the land and the language of its people, and Abbot Bernard’s doctoral thesis The Way of the Boorna-Waangki, a tale of cultural endurance.

From its foundational years, beginning with the arrival of Salvado and Serra in 1846, the genuine desire of these and subsequent missionary monks was to serve the local Yued people. It’s no secret that we haven’t always got it right, so much so that the opposite of cultural sensitivity (and much besides) occurred. It is now our mission to work as hard as we possibly can, towards restorative justice, and the building of a new relationship.

The presence of representatives of the Mippy family today allows us to make another step towards reconciliation. So, it is in the spirit of reconciliation, the Benedictine Community desires to hand over the copyright of these publications to Stephanie Mippy, representing the Mippy family trust – a tangible way of handing back what some of our ‘getting it wrong’ took away – and of course, an expression of our ongoing desire to continue to fulfil Abbot Bernard’s dream and, along with the Mippy family, make it our own, for many years to come.

I now invite Stephanie Mippy and the other Mippy family members to come forward to accept our gift of Abbot Bernard’s notes, manuscripts, and video interviews, and to invite Stephanie to respond on their behalf.

Watch the video of this special event, including Stephanie Mippy’s response.

Watch video

Artist in Residence

Abbot John, artist Helen Seiver and Carmel Murray

On Friday May 24th, Abbot John (Patron of the Mandorla Art Award) and Carmel Murray (Director of New Norcia Visitor Services and Manager of the Museum and Art Gallery) attended the opening of the 2024 Exhibition at the Holmes à Court Galley in West Perth.

Abbot John gave a short address announcing the exciting new project of the establishment of the Mandorla Centre and Artist in Residence at New Norcia in what was the Old Trading Post, and the recipient of the first resident Helen Seiver in Spring 2025. You can read all about the other prize winners, and view the art work of this year’s finalist on the Mandorla website.

Learning to Let Go at New Norcia

New Norcia will be offering once more the ever-popular retreat on “Letting Go” on the weekend of June 28-30, 2024.

Presented by Sr. Lilian Bong of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition, the retreat will provide companionship and guidance in the process of freeing oneself of old resentments, pains and regrets. Through letting go of the negative or unresolvable elements of life, we become ready and mindful of the wonderful blessings which God offers us in the present time.

Places are limited, so in you are interested you are encouraged to make a booking through the New Norcia webshop.

Book Now

Donations to New Norcia

Following an article in the February edition of the Chimes about the donations of tableware we had received and that we would welcome any further donations, we have had some lovely items donated.

On the weekend of Saturday, May 4th, of May Rob Davidson brought up a group of guests and stayed at the Hostel for the night. They gifted us with a beautiful set of serving spoons and forks as well as a lovely cake server.

We have also received lovely donations from Carmel - a sprinkling of Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, and other English pottery, a beautiful cutlery set as well as a tablecloth, table runner and napkins.

We truly appreciate all donations and love to see these items being used in the beautiful 1920’s Hostel during our Abbot’s Table Dinners and Soirées.

Fire Panel Upgrade in the Museum and Art Gallery

Peter from PPI Fire services was on site mid-May to continue the on-going project of updating and maintaining fire panels across the site.

Fire detection makes up a major component of the New Norcia Risk Management Plan, under the direction of our Risk Management Consultant Brian Parker (CMG).

Weekend Retreats

After a very hot and dry start to 2024 we welcome the start of winter.

Many hardy guests braved the hotter months and came to stay as single retreatants or Retreat groups. The air- conditioned rooms with ensuite bathrooms were appreciated and the shady courtyard garden offered a quiet place to escape the heat of the day.

The weekend and one-day courses offered by the Institute of Benedictine Studies have been well received with many being fully booked. If you haven’t had the chance to join us yet, there are still places available on the retreats for the second half of the year. Please check out the full programme on the website.

Please check out the full programme and book through the web shop.

View retreats

Diana’s 70th Birthday Celebration

On Saturday, June 1st, we welcomed 23 lovely guests who had come especially to New Norcia to celebrate their friend Diana’s 70th Birthday at the Hostel. The rain held off and we woke up to beautiful blue skies – a perfect day for a lunch on the deck.

The lunch was organised by Diana’s daughter, Camilla, and she and her relatives decorated the table beautifully – a wonderful surprise for Diana who wasn’t allowed to have a peak until lunch time! Camilla also set up a lovely display on the bar with photos of Diana and family and other mementos including some old dolls.

Guests enjoyed shared antipasto platters, and delicious chicken and salmon dishes, cooked by Marlon and his staff.

Guests stayed overnight, with Diana’s children also staying an additional night.

New Norcia Studies Day - Saturday 25th May 2024

Emeritus Professor John Kinder (photo: Joshua Brown)

As in the past couple of years, the Studies Day was held in the stunning chapel of St Gertrude’s College – surroundings which always lend gravitas to the proceedings. This year is especially significant as it marks the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the Ferrolana from Spain bringing not only new monks for New Norcia but a future diarist, Francisco Marsá, more of whom we shall hear later in the year when Marta Pérez-Rey’s translation is launched.

Tom Stephens OAM delivered the first paper which, appropriately enough, dealt with the Ferrolana, her voyage and her passengers. Amongst those passengers was not only Francisco Marsá, but Jerome Rodoreda who stayed at the monastery only briefly before moving on to Perth. Jerome’s great great grand-daughter, Gillian Rodoreda, then gave a very moving and emotional account of the Rodoreda family’s ups and downs as well as a fascinating account of how she was able to connect with her long-lost relatives in Spain.

Just before lunch, Fr John handed over Abbot Bernard Rooney’s PhD research papers on his old friend, Ned Mippy, to Stephanie Mippy, Ned’s grand-daughter. Stephanie too gave a very emotional speech “from the heart” whilst elsewhere in this issue you can read Fr John’s text.

Fr Anscar McPhee and Tom Stephens OAM (photo: Tom Stephens)

After lunch, John Kinder shared with us the results of his research into Canon Martelli following the completion of his biography of Martelli after many years of dedicated work. Lastly, our wonderful volunteer, Jim Longbottom, was going to tell us the link between a poem in the 1916 monastery chronicle and the beautiful cupola in St Gertrude’s chapel. Sadly, Jim contracted Covid just three days before so was unable to deliver his paper; however, Marta who had been working with Jim on the paper, very kindly agreed at a moment’s notice to read the paper on his behalf.

But, we also had a little something extra this year. We were absolutely delighted to welcome our 2024 Abbot Placid Spearritt scholar, Allegra Giagu, who is a mezzo-soprano of considerable renown. Allegra’s scholarship research involves the music of Rosendo Salvado so it was no surprise that Fr Robert organised a musical interlude for us in St Gertrude’s wooden hall. The music was wonderful with Fr Robert and Allegra alternating on their chosen pieces, one of which was the Ferrolana polka, played with Fr Robert’s usual flair.

Many thanks to our presenters, volunteers Vida Whale, Dom Paul and Jim, and to the staff for putting on another wonderful and memorable Studies Day.

Peter Hocking

A Visit from Trinity College

On Friday, May 3rd, 33 senior students and 2 staff members from Trinity College made the trek up to New Norcia for a day visit.

They started their day by looking through the Museum and Art Gallery, followed by eating morning tea on the benches in the courtyard outside the Museum entrance which has recently been concreted and had shade sails installed.

The day then continued with a town tour through all the buildings and ended in the Monastery Oratory for Midday prayers.

After prayers the students ate lunch on the grassed area at the Education Centre and had a look through the Prindiville Room/6 Seasons Panels and the Flour Mill.

The students and staff ended their day with a talk by Fr. Robert about the monks and the monastic life. They enjoyed the talk and asked lots of interesting questions.

It was a pleasure to host Trinity College for the day; they were a very respectful, well behaved and friendly group of young men.

New Book on the Cross and Medal of St. Benedict

The medal of St. Benedict has become a popular devotional object in recent times, but to many of the people who wear or carry the medal its true meaning, properties and history are not fully known, and even in monastic circles the details of its origin and popularisation remain obscure. In response to this situation, New Norcia’s Fr. Robert Nixon was asked to compile a book-length work, clearly presenting the story of the medal.

The new work entitled The Cross and Medal of St. Benedict: A Mystical Sign of Divine Power has just been published has just been published. It presents not only the meaning of the characters and design of the medal, but also the various power and properties attributed to it, and instructions on the correct way of using and blessing the medal. Included also is the fascinating story of its discovery in 1647 following the arrest of a coven of witches in Bavaria, and how the mystery which originally surrounded its cryptic inscriptions was eventually solved by a long-forgotten manuscript found hidden away in the dusty corner of an old monastery. The volume also contains an outline of the life of St. Benedict, the history of the Benedictine order, and a series of remarkable miracles attributed to the medal.

The Cross and Medal of St. Benedict: A Mystical Sign of Divine Power is now available at the New Norcia giftshop.

Purchase now

CWA “Beyond the Scones” Exhibition

On Monday, May 13th, Carmel and Joyce, as representatives of New Norcia, were invited to attend the Country Women’s Association’s opening of the exhibition “Beyond the Scones” at the Wanneroo Regional Museum.

The CWA pushed for all wine bottles to include a warning label advising of the risks associated with drinking alcohol whilst pregnant. The CWA of Western Australia are very proud that in 2010 New Norcia became the first in Australia to have wine bottles with labels containing this warning. The new exhibition displays two bottles of New Norcia wine with the following description:

“The CWA successfully pushed for all wine bottles to include a warning label for expecting mothers to advise about the risk of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. In 2010, the WA Benedictine community of New Norcia were the first in Australia to produce wine bottles with this warning after being approached by the Country Women’s Association. By 2011, the warning labels had been adopted by 80% of the market."

After speeches from the Mayor of Wanneroo and the State President of CWA and the cutting of the cake celebrating 100 years of the CWA, we were treated to a lovely morning tea which of course included the famous scones with jam and cream.

If you wish to view the exhibition, it is open from 10.00am – 4.00pm, Mondays-Fridays and 12.00pm – 4.00pm on Saturdays and entry is free.

Restumping of Staff Housing

New Norcia Services contracted Perth Heritage Restumping to complete the work on two houses. The total number of stumps/sole plates that are being replaced is 236 combined for both houses.

The necessary work required lifting the houses hydraulically so that they were level. Then the existing stumps and sole plates were removed and replaced with new CCA stumps and sole plates over a four week period. At times, this project required the contractors to work in limited space under both properties.

Once they have finished, the maintenance and grounds team will need to patch and paint the internal wall to repair any cracks which may have developed due to the levelling process.