Tasmania welcomes Benedictine priory

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Tasmania welcomes Benedictine priory

Tasmania’s first Catholic monastery is to be established this month, under the Prior leadership of Fr Pius Mary Noonan of the Saint Joseph de Clairval Abbey of Flavigny, France.

The Notre Dame Priory will follow the Benedictine Rule, and it will initially be located in Hobart. The priory will welcome a small number of young men from around Australia, and Archbishop Julian will provide guidance and leadership to the new religious order in Tasmania.

The priory will teach the Benedictine life, which focuses on living a common life while praying and working together. Fr Pius Mary will initially be the only monk on a permanent basis at the priory.

“Essentially we can say that a monk’s life is about looking for God, seeking God as St Benedict says.

“Seeking God is going to obviously manifest itself in many ways, primarily through the sacred liturgy. Benedictines are known for their attachment to the celebration of the liturgy with great solemnity,” Fr Pius Mary said.

Fr Pius Mary first started visiting Australia to provide retreats in 2007, and it was through this experience that he encountered a number of men wanting to engage more in the monastic lifestyle.

“I must say that from the first time I began really to meet Australians, I was attracted and very happy to get to work with them.”

The monks of Notre Dame Priory will wear white habits in a sign of piety to Mary.

“It is a distinctive trait of devotion to our lady, and I see it as being a profession of our faith in her protection,” explains Fr Pius Mary.

Fr Pius Mary is originally from Kentucky in the USA, and he joined the abbey in Flavigny in 1984, after receiving the call to monastic life while studying at university.