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Looking for a financial miracle, Catholic monks return to fruitcake

December 18, 2010 | 10:00 am


The Catholic monks of the New Camaldoli Hermitage have lived a world apart in the inspirational majesty of Big Sur for half a century. They know well the power of prayer and contemplation.

Money management is another matter.

Never did they imagine their most vexing problem would be finding a way to close a $300,000-a-year budget deficit. Or reviving a flagging fruitcake business that has helped support them for decades.

The monks are like countless American families struggling through hard times. They're working harder but digging into dwindling savings to make ends meet. Their home is paid for, but repairs are on hold indefinitely. The viability of their Thoreau-like existence is in doubt.

To read the rest of Mike Anton's Column One, click here.

Photo: Father Zacchaeus Naegele, 59, gathers a fruitcake in a walk-in refrigerator that houses a dwindling supply at the New Camaldoli Hermitage in Lucia, Calif. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times