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Monastery of the Most Holy Redeemer, Bolwarra Heights, Australia

The Monastery

In 1965, four nuns from the Canadian Redemptoristine Monastery of Barrie, and one from Esopus, set out to establish a new convent at Redhead, in Australia. From Redhead, a brand new convent, with traditional cloisters and a lovely chapel, was purpose-built on the beautiful Bolwarra Heights.

In the Chapel the nuns have a separate choir, and cannot be seen by the public, though they can be heard. Everyone can see the altar and Mass being offered daily. The Chapel window is especially lovely. The grilles in the chapel and parlour give the nuns a private space for their religious life and work.

The strong, but delicately-shaped, form of the grilles enhances rather than spoils the beauty of the building.

Within the the Enclosure, the nuns' cells are simple, observing the Redemptoristine customs of a large crucifix and dark-red (habit-coloured) cross sewn on the bedspread.

There are secure fences but no high stone walls, so its possible for the nuns to look out over the unspoilt valley floor below, to the mountain ranges beyond. In the grounds are many eucalyptus trees (called "gum trees" by Australians). The Lemon tree produces fruit even in the winter, although the Orange tree tends to struggle.

The gardens slope gently towards the valley floor with the lake. The grounds are full of wild, colourful parrots and birds, flying free. There is also a family of Kangaroos that sometimes appears. The best time to see them is at dawn or dusk.

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