New Camaldoli Hermitage Relief Fund
A message from Prior Cyprian Consiglio:
We, like everyone here in the US and around the world, have been watching both Hurricanes as they inundated Texas, and then the Caribbean, devastating island nations that had little extra to spare before making their way up Florida and the southern states. This not even to mention the earthquake in Mexico and the wild fires burning in several spots in the American West! It has indeed been a tough year for many people on planet Earth for many reasons. After having endured our own natural disaster this past year, we were especially empathetic about not just the immediate needs that these weather related events bring but the long lasting impact as well, recovery and re-building.
Now that we have re-opened and a steady stream of retreatants and other visitors are making the journey over the mountains and up the holy hill, we are slowly getting back to some semblance of normal operating mode. Our life of prayer and community, of course, has not stopped for a moment. If anything we were able to sink in and deepen our life a little more due to a little less activity around the place.
The good news is that we have made great progress on repairing our damaged entrance road thanks to the generous contributions we have received. It is leveled and graded and ready to be paved when the Highway 1 opens from the north. (This is scheduled for late September/early October.) We have also made great strides in opening up the old Jeep Trail, which hasn’t been used for many decades. At first this will be only an emergency access/egress, but we are moving ahead with the plan for it to be a new permanent road, since there is no guarantee that the infamous Paul’s Slide on the other side of the property is ever going to stop sliding! So we have much work and huge expenses ahead of us for that.
Our first GoFundMe Campaign saw us through our operating costs for the winter and spring (including keeping our staff on salary), through your generous contributions. Now, however, our first expenses for the road repair have come in. Including geologists, surveyors and some legal fees in addition to the heavy machinery operators, the expenses have amounted to $40,000 to date; and I just signed a contract for $126,000 for the repair and winterizing, which must be done before the rains come this winter.
I opted not to do our regular summer fund-raising Wish List this summer and instead we have reestablished a new goal of $600,000 on GoFundMe, specifically for the road situation in preparation for the winter.
Anything you can do to help us out would be enormously appreciated, including sharing this page with friends and colleagues via email and social media.
The brothers are probably tired of hearing me say it over and over again, but I remind myself and them nearly every day how fortunate we are to be so well cared for and sustained by you, our benefactors and friends. This year more than ever the outpouring of support has been nothing short of overwhelming. I am in awe and we are grateful beyond measure. Know that your needs and intentions, your griefs and joys, are carried to our daily prayer. We are so glad to be able to welcome you all here again so, if you are ready for an adventurous and beautiful drive, come on over the mountains and up the holy hill and see us some time.
Yours in the love of God poured into our hearts by the Spirit living in us.
Throughout all of this, we are well, thanks be to God. And we continue to live our simple life of Prayer and Work in the heart of the Church. I send you our thanks and, as always, a promise of our prayers
Cyprian, OSB Cam.
Please consider making a gift at this time either through this Go Fund Me page, or directly to the Hermitage (click here ).
I suppose I am tired of hearing myself say it, but it is worth repeating anyway: what a challenging year this has been! Between the political turmoil in our own country, the natural disasters locally and all over the world, the threat of war and the menace of terrorism that continues to raise its ugly head, it has been a test of our faith and charity, and especially a test of our hope. But the Holy Father along with the Bishops’ Conference, basing themselves on the best of the social teaching of the Church, keep us from despair, believing that we can build a better world, that we can be light in the darkness, and that we can witness to the love of God by our unqualified love of each other and our neighbor, especially the poor, the outcast, the refugee, and all those most in need of mercy. So we head into this new calendar year sober, but also stronger, wiser and filled with joyful hope.
I thank you again, personally, for all the amazing support that you have shown me in my ministry as prior, and for all the kind care you shower on the brothers. We carry you in our grateful prayers and look forward to welcoming you back to New Camaldoli in the new year.
P.S. 2018 is our 60th anniversary, by the way, so watch for announcements about a big celebration in the summer.
When a local poet heard that the Hermitage was in financial trouble, he decided to give us a gift.
Garrick Davis will donate the proceeds from the auction of his favorite car, a 1979 Ferrari 308 GTS.
The Ferrari is currently being auctioned on eBay.
"I wanted this to be an anonymous gift, but when Jill (Development Director for New Camaldoli Hermitage) told me how much money the monks required to get the road opened, I realized that other people would need to come forward and give generously as well. So we decided that a public donation might encourage Christians in the Monterey area to do likewise -- we must help these righteous men who protect us with their prayers and guide us by their example. Now is the time to sell something valuable and 'lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven' as the Scriptures tell us."
"We are hoping that a generous benefactor comes forward and loves the car. It is valued at over $70,000 but that's just its market value -- this is an opportunity for someone to help the monks greatly and to enjoy a very nice automobile."
Garrick hopes that other people follow his lead.
"What most people don't know is that the Hermitage gets no financial support from the Catholic Church. The monks are all on their own."
Garrick added: “The monastic order of the Camaldolese is very small, and very special. The monks in Big Sur are the last of an ancient tradition who live as a community of hermits, welcoming guests and working all while keeping to a very strict rule of life."
"I too have traveled the world like Pico Iyer, and I agree with him that New Camaldoli Hermitage is the most important place in the world. To wake up after midnight and walk into the chapel with the monks to celebrate the liturgy is transformative. I stayed there for two weeks for my 30th birthday and I have never forgotten the peace and joy I found there."
Garrick Davis is a poet and works at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington DC. He lived in Pebble Beach for seven years (1997-2004), where he taught English literature at Monterey Peninsula College and founded the Contemporary Poetry Review.
This is the same car featured in the 1980s TV show, Magnum P.I. with Tom Selleck. It is Classic Red with tan interior. It has only 44,000 miles on it.
The Hermitage is extremely grateful for this generous gift. Please share this great news!
New Camaldoli Hermitage.
Your RSVP is appreciated.
Fr. Cyprian, We have been following this unfolding drama and praying with and for you until this amazing chapter in your lives is closed. What an amazing withness to trusting in God's Providence. Always thinking and praying for you and your fellow monks, brothers, staff and family. Pam
Hi Maddie, I believe the fundraising is intended to relieve a very challenging finance situation at the Hermitage. The place has not been able to accept any visitors so it has lost $300K in income in the past few months. That means expenses are far outstripping income, which puts a severe strain on the solvency of the Hermitage (which is a non-profit religious organization). Without the road repaired the place cannot accept guests safely, which means further income loss which would further drain the financial resources of the community. That is why any support is welcome during this period of crushing financial difficulty. There are certainly other communities hit by bad weather both in California and elsewhere this winter, and all are deserving of prayer and support. (I don't work for the Hermitage btw, I'm just a supporter of their community and mission).
Thank you for the update. I'm happy to hear you're all well and holding steady. I'll be looking forward to the opening of access. I'd love to be there helping! God bless your hearts!
Meant to also add the following... from the Lorica of St. Patrick: I arise today through God's strength to pilot me, God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to see before me, God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me, God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me, God's host to secure me – against snares of devils, against temptations and vices, against inclinations of nature, against everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and anear, alone and in a crowd... Christ, be with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Christ. May your salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.
My prayers are with you! I myself cannot afford a donation at this time, but I will certainly pass the word at my parish, St. Patrick's in Dallas, TX. I hope that this will bring forth a little more help for you. I will also ask St. Benedict and our Blessed Mother to pray with us, that you are showered with enough resources to repair your road and have all the supplies and food that you need to sustain the brothers and the work that you all do. May God bless you, and send His angels to protect and keep you .
Continued prayers and blessings for all that you need!
Please leave address of Br. Emmanuel's location so we can visit him, please.
Greetings from Romeoville, Illinois. Was very sad to read about your current situation. I am spreading the word as best I can to people at St. Andrews in Romeoville and people in the "old neighborhood". I am hoping to get to Big Sur, California in November and was planning to visit your community. I have a sister that lives in San Diego and they have not been impacted by the rain as much as you have, but I worry about her and her family just the same. I know you are a survivor and will lead your community through this to be even stronger than ever! Sincerely, Sandy Prokopec Meinke
Dear Father Cyprian, I pray for the community's comfort and strength. I deeply believe God will see all of you through these devastating times. As I am poor as a church mouse I have nothing in financial means to give you. I worry about your food supply and I am praying that God will provide. Be strong and know that this too shall pass. Sending prayers and great respect. Your brother in love and service. Michael OM+