Camaldoli, Italy


The Camaldolese are part of the great Benedictine family founded by Saint Benedict in the sixth century. The Camoldolese branch was established through the reforming efforts of the eleventh century Italian monk Saint Romuald. His reform sought to revitalize the best of the communal and solitary dimensions of monastic life.

Nearly a thousand years ago, Saint Romuald founded the Mother House, the Hermitage of Camaldoli high in the mountains of central Italy (Camaldoli, Italy). There are Camaldolese hermitages and monasteries up and down Italy. The most ancient is the urban monastery of Saint Gregory the Great in the heart of Rome.

The Camaldolese are also in Poland, France, India, Brazil, and Tanzania.

The Camaldolese Benedictine life was brought to the United States in 1958, with the founding of New Camaldoli Hermitage in the Santa Lucia mountains of Big Sur, California.

Sister Monasteries

New Camaldoli

In 1958, the Camaldolese established New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, CA.

The monks’ labors include hospitality, retreats, bookstore, writing, and original art, pottery and music.

Many of the monks were called to monastic life as a second career. Former lay careers of community members include college and high school teaching, performing arts, engineering, clinical psychology, chemistry, construction, and the military. Former religious careers include service as diocesan priests and as members of Benedictine, Franciscan, Salesian, Saint John of God and Redemptorist orders.

The Hermitage has developed into an established expression of the contemplative and eremitical dimension of monastic life and a part of the local community in Big Sur.

Incarnation Monastery

Incarnation Monastery was established by the Camaldolese in Berkeley, CA in 1979.

Strategically located adjacent to the University of California Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union, Incarnation serves as a house of studies for Camaldolese monks as well as an urban retreat center.

An urban house in Berkeley, CA, Incarnation Monastery, also serves as a house of studies.

The Incarnation Monastery Monastic Institute shares Benedictine spirituality with the GTU theological community.

Transfiguration Monastery

Transfiguration Monastery consists of a  small, contemplative Camaldolese Benedictine community of women, located in Windsor, NY, about 165 miles west of New York City, 15 miles east of Binghamton and a five-minute drive from the Pennsylvania border, in the Diocese of Syracuse.

Founded in 1979 by three Sisters, they became formally affiliated with the Camaldolese Benedictine Congregation in 1986, since the Camaldolese charism provides for seeking God in both community and solitude, allowing the sisters to engage in more outreach and a less restricted enclosure than is usually possible for contemplative nuns.

Other Links

Holy See

St. John’s Abbey

Order of Saint Bendict

Fr. Vincent Petersen OFM Conv. Paintings

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