A note from our Director, Fr. Reginald Martin, OP

Dear Friends of Vallombrosa,

We’ve received the good news that California is removing most of its COVID restrictions, and our Archbishop has announced that churches may do the same.  This is truly reason to rejoice at Vallombrosa, for although we’ve been “open” throughout the recent pandemic, our services have been severely limited.  While we will observe all reasonable precautions, I am delighted to announce that Vallombrosa is, once again, fully “up and running.”

The recent months have been quiet at Vallombrosa, but we’ve not been idle.  Thanks to our many volunteers, we’ve completed work on the Lourdes Shrine, improved the Garden of St. Francis (which now includes two historic olive trees – one from the Garden of Olives itself) and laid out a Path of Spiritual Works, which connects the Lourdes Shrine to the Stations of the Cross.  For anyone seeking a place for quiet meditation, Vallombrosa offers a wealth of opportunities.

We have also begun offering private space to individuals looking for a day or two of quiet time alone.  If you are part of a group that has used our services in the past, we hope to welcome you back.  If you belong to a group looking for a new spot to gather, please pay a visit and see what we have to offer.  And if the idea of time for private meditation, without the interruption of telephones or other electronics is appealing, please give us a call.  One of my colleagues just looked in my office to say, “Please assure the nerds that we also have commercial-grade wifi – 1GB symmetrical service – Laptop download 236.37; upload 254.9.”  Okay…

We could hardly have survived his past year without your prayers, volunteer hands and financial assistance.  I pray you will continue all three.  Next spring Vallombrosa will celebrate its 75th birthday.  As we look forward to this milestone event, your prayers are essential to the continued success of our ministry.  So, too, is your financial aid, which is vital to our maintaining the ageing structures of our Center (the “Mansion,” a central feature of the Center, was built during the Civil War!) A visitor need only stroll through the grounds to see your work on the trees and other plantings that make the 11-acre landscape at Vallombrosa so engaging.

Each Friday evening, at 7:30, a dedicated group gathers at the Lourdes Shrine to pray the Rosary.  Needless to say, we remember you, as well as your loved ones.  Should you be in the neighborhood on a Friday, please join us.  The experience is quite moving, and the area is magnificent, surrounded with paving stones and benches dedicated to our benefactors and members of their families.  If you would like to remember someone with such a tribute, please visit our website.

And please let that virtual visit lure you into paying a real visit.  We eagerly await the opportunity to welcome you

In Christ’s love,

Fr. Reginald Martin, O.P.