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Our Lady of Refuge
Patroness of the Californias
On July 4, 1843, Francisco Diego Garcia y Moreno, first bishop of the Californias
(Alta and Baja), proclaimed Our Lady of Refuge as patroness of the Californias. Now, 175 years later,
a California native and Benedictine Oblate strives by the grace of God's gracious Providence to bring into being
a new contemplative Benedictine community of monks under this same Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
refuge of sinners. The desired location for this new monastic foundation is the lush redwood covered hills
of the Santa Cruz Mountains situated along the central coast of California.
Although full information regarding the vision for this proposed monastic community is posted on
this website, a brief description is provided here:
For more information, please visit the different pages on this site accessible by the labels
at the top
The traditional Benedictine choir habit is the normal attire and a simple "work habit" (hooded
smock) is worn when appropriate. We rarely wear secular clothes.
Latin Gregorian Chant is sung at all liturgical functions according to Vatican II
The Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office) is celebrated in common seven times each day:
Vigils (Night Office of Readings) takes place before dawn, and the hours of Lauds, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and
Compline are sung at appropriate times throughout the day.
The Holy Eucharist is celebrated each day according to the Roman Missal (Third Typical
Edition in English) with the Latin Gregorian Chants sung from the 1979 Graduale Romanum.
The life of worship, prayer, study, and manual labor take place within the Monastic Enclosure
as directed by the Rule of Saint Benedict. We do not engage pastoral work, and do not leave the
monastery grounds unless demanded by necessity or business.
Hospitality is extended to monastery guests in a suitable manner outside the Enclosure.
A balanced life in common strives to foster fraternal charity within the context of
traditional monastic customs: scheduled periods of silence, daily lectio divina (spirtual reading), private prayer,
spiritual conferences, work, and recreation.
Is God calling you to be a monk? Unmarried men between the ages of 25 and 35 who are
practicing Catholics at peace with the Church and are discerning a call to monastic life are invited to study the
information provided on this website before making contact.
Is God calling you to help build His house? Land in rural San Mateo County is required
in order to establish Our Lady of Refuge Monastery. Anyone who owns some agricultural acreage suitable for this
purpose, or would have the funds available to purchase such property:
Please visit the contact page.
June 18, 2022