A new book by historian (and long-term member of the Cumann) Dr. Val Noone is to be launched on St. Patrick’s Day. From Roscrea to Beagle Bay: Dan O’Donovan, priest and hermit is a tribute to a remarkable Irish monk who has lived much of his life in Australia.
An unusual Irish monk. Born in Berlin in 1934 where his father was chargé d’affaires for the Irish government, Father Dan O’Donovan joined the Cistercian order of monks at Roscrea, County Tipperary, and came to Tarrawarra Abbey, Victoria, Australia, in the 1960s, and in 1972 answered a call from the Benedictines of New Norcia to work in the Kimberleys.
Dan has spent the past 47 years in northwestern Australia, first as a Cistercian monk with approval to live outside his monastery, and later as a priest of the Broome diocese. Dan is exceptional for his stints as a hermit, living adjacent to and in friendship with Indigenous communities – six years at Lombadina and twenty at Beagle Bay.
This booklet is a tribute to Dan as he begins his third year of retirement at Germanus Kent House in Broome. In April 2019, urged on by friends of Dan, Val Noone of Melbourne travelled to Broome, interviewed Dan and spent some days researching his papers. This is the result: an introduction to Dan’s story.
University of Divinity, and Margaret Hill, cousin