Our Monastery History
The Monastery of the Risen Christ in San Luis Obispo began in 1987 with the arrival of Fr Ray Roh OSB from the Benedictine Monastery in Pecos, NM. The Monastery was established as a “Mission ” from the Pecos Monastery and legally established in the State of California. In March, 1992, Abbot David Geraets, OSB and several others arrived from Pecos to establish the Monastery as a canonical entity and independent of the Pecos Monastery. The Monastery continued most of the ministry of the Pecos Monastery which was basically apostolic in nature and quite diversified.
Workshops, retreats, healing services, spiritual direction, parish supply, were all part of the ministry. Special ministries, however were the Oblates, a program for laity affiliated with the monastery. Through the years, seven different groups were established in different parts of California. The other special ministry was the School for Spiritual Directors, established by Abbot David in 1978 and continued on in California. The Monastery continued on in ministry until the Monks were unable to carry out many of the tasks, due to age and health problems.
In 2011 one of the original members, Fr Albert Meyer died and in March 2012 Abbot David himself passed to the Lord. As a consequence of loss of membership and lack of resources the Monastery began to decline. The Congregation to which the Monastery belonged, known as the Olivetan Congregation, based outside of Siena Italy, decided to close the Monastery as of March 2013. The Monastery staff was able to delay the sale of the property and negotiate with the Monks of New Camaldoli Hermitage, Big Sur, for a transfer to the Camaldoli Congregation, also based in Italy. The local Hermitage is located on the Big Sur, in California, two hours north of the Monastery on Highway One.
After much discussion and negotiating, an agreement was set up to allow the Monastery to function under the auspices of the Camaldolese and to work a transition over a period of three years The waiting period is a canonical requirement. Fr Daniel Manger, OSB. Cam, arrived in February 2014 as a Delegate of the Prior of the Big Sur Hermitage to begin the work of assisting with the transition Plans are ongoing for continuing some of the old, but developing new ministries and a somewhat new style of monastic life.
The Oblates are continuing on with the Monastery with the hope of eventually merging with the Camaldolese Oblates. The Monastery no longer sponsors the School for Spiritual directors but it still operates in Santa Barbara and information can be obtained by contacting Dr. Marie Discullo-Naples, 207-491-7524.