Worship services could begin early next year inside the new church at the Abbey of Our Lady of New Clairvaux in Vina.
Construction, which began 25 years ago, is nearly completed on the church at the 600-acre spiritual oasis one mile west of Highway 99 in Vina. More than 800-year-old medieval stones were used in the construction.
Four years ago, Master Mason Frank Helmholz completed the magnificent interior of the church using stones from a Cistercian monastery in Spain. The stones were once owned by William Randolph Hearst but were found languishing in San Francisco.
Medieval stones will be included on the altar, the presider’s chair and the area where the monks themselves will worship.
The gorgeous place of worship will not be reserved only for the 16 monks who live inside the cloister at the abbey, as the public will be invited to its regular services once completed.
Fundraising has been the biggest obstacle in its completion, as the office of development estimates it needs $3.5 million to complete the church.
“This is a 12th Century medieval building here in Vina, California.,” said Father Paul Mark, a Catholic priest and the abbot of the monastery.
“Just in the whole continent of North America this is a unique building.”
More information on New Clairvaux can be found here: link.
Full story at KRCR News.
I might add that the Trappists at Vina also have a small retreat facility for self-guided, silent retreats. They also make pretty good wine. I personally recommend their Abbot’s Reserve. Unfortunately, it’s a limited release, so it’s hard to get. Their Ovila beer is also quite good although it’s manufactured and marketed nearby by the Sierra Nevada Brewery.
Apparently the wine readily sells out. Otherwise, the Monks may want to market the wine more widely. They can ship the wine to California addresses, plus several other states [but not all]. They might get a better price, and the buyer pays shipping.
As I recall, they’ve planted another block or so of vines. But, of course, these take time to grow and mature. Wine production has been a relatively new venture for them. :)
This is a wonderful story and Vina is a very sacred place in the Sacramento Valley. It is a favorite retreat location for many in Northern California.
Conservation at its finest.