Rorate Caeli

Quaerere Deum

The following is the official trailer for a new documentary on the Benedictine monks of Norcia. The documentary itself due to be released this coming December.

The Monastery of San Benedetto in Norcia now has 19 members, of whom 8 are solemnly professed monks (see this). The community has five priests. The average age of the community? 28 years old.

The monastery is officially "bi-formal", with the daily Conventual Mass always sung according to the 1962 Missal. However, the priests also celebrate the Novus Ordo for the parishes in the villages surrounding them (see this article). The monks sing the traditional Benedictine Office, in Latin. The monks are also committed to strict monastic observance; among other things, they eat only one meal per day from September 14 to Ash Wednesday (at 3:00 PM!) and they can taste meat only three times a year (Christmas, Easter Sunday, and Thanksgiving -- the monastery being predominantly American.)

For this year, the monastery got two postulants while one of the monks was ordained to the diaconate and then to the priesthood.


  1. A beautiful monastery, well worth supporting.

  2. "Bi-formal"... Biritual, in fact.

  3. Giordano10:59 PM

    the priests of the order fulfill their task of cultivating the Novus Ordo as well by ascending to the tiny mountain villages around Norcia to celebrate parish Masses in the ordinary form.

    I bet if they ascended and said the Traditional Latin Mass once in a while some of the young men might consider going to mass more, or maybe even joining their order?

    But it is refreshing to see Priests/Monks with beards!

    Will look forward to the documentary; reminds me of , although I think they were strictly Novus Ordo.

  4. Spero2:03 AM

    I visited this community some years ago. At the time their conventual Mass was still according to the NOM. Nevertheless, it was through this visit and the advice of one of their monks that I was first blessed to visit Le Barroux and came to newly appreciate the Benedictine charism. I was so happy when they decided to celebrate the TLM for their conventual Mass.
    As I recall, these monks sing Matins with gregorian chant and not just recto-tono. If this is the case, I wonder if they are the only Benedictine monks who do so. Does anyone know?

  5. GQ Rep11:53 AM

    If I'm not mistaken, they use only the Tridentine Latin Mass for their community, and offer it on Sunday at the Basilica of St. Benedict in Norcia. I don't think they use the Novus Ordo.

    It would be rather a wasted effort, to attempt to kindle religious faith in the "tiny mountain villages", celebrating the Novus Ordo....reverently or whatever.
    If they celebrate the Tridentine Latin Mass for the people, they would see immediate good results.

  6. Gregorio7:38 PM

    Anyone who has visited those monks knows they love the Traditional Mass. It seems unlikely to me that they offer those Masses in the parishes according to the Novus Ordo of their own volition. Italy is truly a desert liturgically and I doubt the local ordinary would permit and celebration of TLM in those villages. Given Italy's present liturgical state, it is remarkable that they are offering the chanted TLM at a major Italian shrine, every day.


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!