In 2018, with immense gratitude to God, we were able to purchase this magnificent property of Jerusalem Estate as the home of Our Lady’s monastery thanks to generous loans from the Catholic Development Fund of Tasmania as well as from several private benefactors. In late 2019, we launched our “Help for Hectares” campaign in order to raise the funds needed to pay off our loans and clear the mortgage on the monastery farm. Thanks to the generous donations of benefactors and through the providential offer made to purchase a portion of the property, in June 2023, we were able to end our mortgage and reimburse out debts. So, in this our seventh year we find ourselves in full unimpeded possession of a large farm of 626 hectares (1545 acres) that has an incredible potential to provide for all our needs and more. It is a wonderful blessing of Divine Providence for which we are immensely grateful and which we attribute to the special intercession of Our Lady of Cana and St Joseph.
What now, you may be asking? Well, at this stage, we have a lovely little church, accommodation for the monks, and a few workshop. There are still a number of projects to be completed in the provisional complex here around Hardwick House, and first of all the renovation of the old heritage barn that can be seen behind the church; our hope to make it into a nice chapter house, and include therein a few altars for private Masses for when we have more priests in the community.
At the same time, we monks are working assiduously with our lay expert advisers on establishing a means of subsistence that will allow us to become self-sufficient and get started building the future monastery up on Mt Olivet, the architectural plans of which are in progress. At this stage, the two major means of livelihood that we are considering are a winery/brewery—a vineyard is being planted this year—and our printery.
In the next few years, however, given that the monks are still in their years of formation, Notre Dame Priory will remain very much dependent on the generosity of its benefactors. We will be keeping you informed of developments through the newsletter – subscribe here – and our website and also ask that you spread the word to others as well.
As we unite our voices in giving thanks to Almighty God for the infinite mercy He has shown us, we would also like to again express our gratitude to you for all that you have done for us. If you have supported us financially, or come to help out with any of the work here at Jerusalem Estate, or offered prayers for the success of our mission, we are deeply indebted to you and assure you and your loved ones, both living and deceased, of a very special place in our monastic intercession.