For the monks of Big Sur, the bonds of brotherhood grow after Highway 1 closure

Note from Fr. Yale:

This article from the Los Angeles Times briefly explores the monks of New Camaldoli, where I seek to become an oblate.


Life for the monks at New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur is by definition an exercise in isolation, but recent months forced that isolation to new levels. In February the monastery was effectively cut off from its normal stream of visitors and guests after winter rain storms dubbed “atmospheric rivers” pounded the California coastline, damaging Highway 1 and nearby access roads. Several monks and staff decided to ride out the isolation, enduring multiple health crises and two deaths as they persisted in their devoted, austere lifestyles in this remote mountain community. After six months, the Hermitage began accepting guests again this month.

Brother Timothy Jolley looks toward the New Camaldoli monastery from the “ranch” house where guests and workers normally stay on the Hermitage, which has been isolated by storm-damaged roads on Highway 1 since February.  He says: “Life around here has been rather unsettled since this weather drama set in. We’ve lost phones for the longest time, Internet was spotty and propane got more scarce. We are feeling the loss of the income and I have recognized just how important faith is and how sustaining. I have found that the absence of guests and being cut off from regular flow through the bookstore [provide] opportunity to spend more time alone in my cell with God. I’ve worked in my little garden, learning patience from the plants I’ve put in, watching the birds and squirrels and looking at our remarkable sky, both day and night. Because no one is around, the stillness has its own voice, and I listen.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.