Monks rebuilding 800-year-old structure

Feb. 24, 2009 at 6:04 PM
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VINA, Calif., Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Monks reassembling an 800-year-old building in Tehama County, Calif., said the structure could be completed by the end of this year.

The Abbey of New Clairvaux monks said they have been slowly rebuilding the Spanish pre-Gothic meeting house, which was dismantled and brought to the United States in 1931 by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, for the past five years using funds from private donations, KCRA-TV, Sacramento, Calif., reported Tuesday.

The monks said they have received $5.5 million in donations and the structure could be completed by the end of the year if they obtain a further $1.5 million.

Brother John Cullen said about a quarter of the monks working on the project are well into their 80s and may not live to see it completed.

"As long as it's finished and we had a start in getting it begun ... that's enough for us I think," Cullen said. "There is a spiritual experience seeing it the way it is now."

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