We wake up early and all pile into our caravans. Mixing it up as we go. All the luggage was found in the end and we all get a move on. Our fist stop is the lovely town of New Norcia. It is a beautiful little town that is based on a Monastery.
The monastery is the heart and soul of New Norcia. From the very first years of the monastery in the 1840s, the rhythmic life of monasticism has guided the town.
Following the Rule of St Benedict the monks of New Norcia live a life of work and prayer and all are welcome to join the monks at prayer.
Christian monasticism originated amongst men and women who sought union with God in the desert or far off places removed from civilization. Originally practiced by solitary individuals, monasticism gradually developed into structured community life. One of many rules, the Rule of St Benedict was simple and adaptable and gave priority to communal life based on a balance of Prayer and Work.
In Benedict’s Rule he establishes the hierarchy of the monastery, the arrangements regarding prayer and work, details concerning the food, drink and clothing of monks, correction and relations with the outside world. In all these regulations his aim is to give the strong something to strive after but at the same time not drive the weak away. The daily program is designed to allow for periods of silence, prayer, work, and the slow, deep reading of scripture and approved texts.
The Rule calls for promises of stability, obedience and “conversion of life”. Stability enables continuity of community life, obedience ensures adherence to the Rule, administered by an Abbot, and conversion of life makes way for ongoing growth into the way of Christ. New Norcia would never have come about, or continued, were it not for the spirit of St Benedict and his Rule, which led the founders to build a stable monastic community as the cornerstone of all its life. One of the most famous sections of the Rule is Chapter 72: The Good Zeal of Monks. It is a summary statement of what Benedictine monastic life is all about.
Benedictine monks and nuns learn early in their initiation into the monastic life that this life is characterized by the ever-renewed effort to ‘listen’ to God. Their life of humble, loving, serviceable obedience presupposes their determination to give themselves completely to ‘searching for God’. Whatever your background or beliefs, the monks invite you to join the Community to pray the Divine Office or to celebrate Mass.
Roman Catholic men who are interested in the possibility of joining our monastery are invited to contact the Vocations Director. If you are interested, you may be invited to stay in our Guesthouse.
Normally we ask you to come for an initial visit for a period varying from a week to a month.
The next step is a period postulancy (3-12 months) during wihich you live, pray, and work with the community.
If you are accepted as a candidate, you are admitted as a novice for one year, during which you will study the Rule of St Benedict, the Constitutions of our Congregation, monstaic spirituality etc.
At the end of the novitiate year, you may be admitted to temporary (simple) profession for a period of three years during which further studies may be undertaken e.g. some monks undertake a degree in theology, others focus more on practical skills.
After this three years of temorary profession, you would prepare for final (solemn) profession for the rest of your life.
Some monks are ordained priest, others are not. That depends on the community’s need for priests, as well as on the willingness of a monk to be ordained.
From the time Benedict of Nursia (AD 480-547) set out on his monastic search for God, ordinary Christians sought to draw guidance from his spiritual teaching. A form of common life arose in which lay people and secular clergy were affiliated with his communities, and this continues to the present day. The word ‘oblate’ comes from the Latin oblatus which means ‘one [who is] offered’.
Living in a monastery does not mean you do not need money. Every monastery has to be able to function in the "outside" world. They do have their own gardens but there are items that even they need to purchase. To do this every monastery sells items to earn money. Each monastery sells different items and have different things that they are known for. Here are some pictures of items that this monastery sells.
A variety of cute books
Adorable "worry" stones
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.
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.
After our wonderful visit to the Monastery and buying tons in the gift shop we keep traveling in our caravans. Almost as soon as we start we are sidetracked again! We end up in the Wildflowers Interpretative Education Center.
Entry and a comprehensive tour of the Wildflower packing, drying and dying sheds is free. There are eleven countries that we export flowers to, and the colors and volume of each flower is mind blowing.
The paddocks around the packing sheds are used to crop everlasting and kangaroo paws. Many of variety of flowering gums and shrubs are also bound for export.
The 4000 acres of flowers that grow on the farm have been captured by the ‘Leyland’ brothers, as well as the photos from Kalbarri to Esperance. There is a video about the Wildflower Farm that gets shown in the restaurant area. Staff are trained to give information to travellers with a selection of maps and guides.
Hanging above your heads as soon as you walk into our shop are a flourish of pink and white everlastings, as well as some vibrant yellow daisies. If your planning to come and buy some of the range, make sure you get here quick because everything hanging on our roof is just $2.00!
Pink everlastings are sprouting up all over the place as the temperature rises. 34km from the post office west of Moora along the North west road.
Here are some incredible educational information about this wonderful place.
The partnership between the Shire of Moora and Western Wildflower Farm involves three major components. These components include the development of this website, a Wildflower Interpretative Education Centre at Western Wildflower Farm and finally a School Education Program.
The importance of developing a dedicated website featuring detailed information about Western Australia’s wildflowers was identified. A site focuses on road conditions, where species are flowering and general visitor information. The difference this site offers is the weekly updates during June through to November.
The "Gateway to the Wildflowers"
The Wildflower Interpretative Education Centre is described as the “Gateway to the Wildflowers”. This dedicated Interpretative Education Center is for tourists seeking a wildflower experience. The Centre displays a photography section naming over 150 species and includes general information about each species. The Center also features a wildflower garden where 20 different species are grown within the grounds. Large location maps are also displayed at the Centre as well as weekly updates of where species are currently flowering.
Educating our Youth
The School Education Program component focuses on educating our youth about our natural resource available to us in Western Australia. Our youth need to be aware of our resource and learn how to sustain it for future generations. The education program includes field trips teaching students botanical and common name species and what conditions the species can be found grown in. The program also includes the students creating a wildflower display which will be exhibited publicly.
After having a look about taking pictures of all the wildflowers and having a really fun time we move on and soon find ourselves in the Shire of Moora.
The Shire of Moora is a busy little town that has everything one could want to have a great life. They work hard as accommodating everyone from young to elderly. With a Vision for the town as they do It is easy to see what the attraction is about the shire.
Vision: "Shire of Moora - a vibrant, affordable Regional Center with a growing, caring community."
It looks like they don't have a massage therapist. I'll have to look into moving here just for fun. I love that they even have a Performing Arts Center that is very active. The depth and breadth of what they perform is extremely impressive! The amount of parks and services is better than most towns I know of, and the amusing sculptures and the town clock shows that they are very willing to be whimsical here in Moora.
There is even a Wildflower drive that they have mapped out and hope you will come see.
We have fun doing a short cranny poke into some of the quaint shops before we have to go and I have to say everyone was so friendly and willing to talk with us.
We leave Moora and continue on our way to Geraldton. Ann is such a great tour guide but she is quite unpredictable at times. We no sooner get back on the road then she veers off on a side rode and we all follow her wondering where she is going to. When we get there we are stunned. There is a huge field of wildflowers as far as one can see. We all get out and take tons of pictures. It's like a travel brochure but it's real!
Getting out we find a Lechenaultia Macrantha!
Lechenaultia macrantha is a species of low growing plant found on sandy or gravelly soils in Western Australia.
The species, when viewed from above, has a wreath-like form during its flowering period around August to November. The prostrate habit of Lechenaultia macrantha is between fifty and one hundred and fifty millimetres in height and spreading out to one metre. The branches are fleshy, the leaves are narrow, linear, and up to forty millimetres in length. The large yellow, pink, red flowers are arranged at the terminus of branches in a ring. The diameter of the five petals is between thirty and thirty five millimetres.
The distribution of the species is the Geraldton Sandplains and Avon Wheatbelt regions in the southwest of the state.Lechenaultia macrantha is placed in the family Goodeniaceae, nearly all of which are found in Australia's arid regions. A common name for the plant is Wreath lechenaultia.
Walking a bit farther we find an Upside Down Pea. Leptosema is a genus of flowering plants from the legume family Fabaceae. This species occur in Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.
We get back into are vehicles and keep driving on to Geraldton. Arriving in Geraldton in good time we are able to see some of the sights before we get to our accommodations for the night.
The construction of the St Francis Xavier Catholic Cathedral started in 1916 but was not completed until 1938. The cathedral was designed by Monsignor John Hawes who was both an architect and a priest.
The memorial for the World War II cruiser HMAS Sydney is located on top of nearby Mount Scott. The memorial recognizes the loss of the light cruiser during a mutually destructive fight with the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran off Shark Bay in November 1941, with none of the 645 aboard surviving. A temporary memorial, consisting of a large boulder, a flagpole, and a bronze plaque, was erected in 1998. A permanent memorial (made up of four major elements: a steel based on the ship's prow, a granite wall listing the ship's company, a bronze statue of a woman looking out to sea and waiting in vain for Sydney to return, and a dome made up of 645 stainless steel seagulls) was dedicated on November 18 2001, the day before the 60th anniversary of the battle.
We end up at our Caravan Park and finally get parked and settled. We all get our chairs our and set up in a circle so we can eat our dinners and chat about the day's events and what we have learned.
My knee is still cranky so I only have 930 steps. It is better than yesterdays steps but I get frustrated. I'm being good though with the encouragement of my ride mates and taking it easy on the knee. I am down to 196 pounds though! I really can't wait for my back surgery.
Well It's time for sleep and a well earned one at that.