memoirs_monkMemoirs of a Spanish Missionary Monk

by Seraphim Sanz de Galdeano OSB MBE OAM CSM

ISBN 0 85905 386 5, (2006 New), Soft Cover, 260pp, illust, 350grams

$35 + POST

Seraphim Sanz de Galdeano was born in Spain in 1913, the eighth of ten children. At eleven years of age he heard Dom Anselm Catalan of New Norcia, Western Australia speak of the need for missionaries to work with the Australian Aborigines in far flung areas of Australia. From that time, young Seraphim decided to dedicate his life to this mission.

At eighteen Seraphim Sanz arrived at the Monastry at New Norcia to begin his service to God with the Benedictine Order at New Norcia.

In 1939, the young monk sailed from Fremantle to the isolated Kalumburu Mission in the far north of Western Australia. Here he dedicated his life to God and to the Aboriginal people of Kalumburu whom he came to love.

This is our history, unsanitised – at its best, as told by this extraordinary man of the cloth. And the politically correct – be damned!

Fr Seraphim Sanz was there, lived it, saw what happened, and recorded it truthfully and faithfully.

In this controversial, but incontrovertible, Memoir, his judgments will undoubtedly be challenged by our more conventional historians, but none can write with the depth of experience and love this man devoted to the cause of Kimberley Aborigines and Christianity in this tiny and far flung community.

This is an amazing account of the life of an essentially simple man who dedicated his selfless assistance to a cause in which he implacably believed, only to be banished by well-meaning, but essentially ill-informed do-gooders, bureaucrats and politicians.

Today in his 94th year Fr. Seraphim Sanz has returned to Kalumburu to spend his remaining years in the place and with the people he loves. His days are devoted to the Monastry and to prayer.

This is a manuscript which should be prescribed reading in our schools and universities, so that the next generation of Australians will be better equipped to deal with one of our nation’s greatest challenges with a better knowledge and understanding of our more recent history.

Trevor Kennedy A.M.