Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


The purpose of this Investigation is to explore the intra-history of the three remaining Spanish Benedictine monks of New Norcia (Western Australia) who were recruited in the 1920s by the third Bishop of New Norcia, Anselmo Catalan. The three texts to be analysed are; Fr Maur Ejaunes' autobiography titled Memories of Fr Maur Enjuanes OSB. based on oral history transcripts and published In the New Norcia Studies journal, September 1998; Fr Seraphim Sanz' personal memoirs, unpublished and titled Vida y milagros de un monje benedictino (life and Miracles of a Benedictine Monk); and finally, the transcript of an oral interview conducted in March 2002 with Dom Paulino Gutierrez. These personal texts, autobiographical and testimonial in their nature, reflect the history of daily life: the intra-history, which at the end of the day determines the life of a person. The research looks into the monk's intra-historic circumstances revealed through the shared themes of childhood, family, education, society and religion. The implications of such themes are those of discipline, obedience, resistance, ideology, ritual, tradition, vocation, the determination of man; as well as the postcolonial issues of identity, displacement, colonization and orientalism. The term intra-history has been borrowed from the Spanish philosopher, essayist, novelist and poet, Miguel de Unamuno, who in his writings saw more validity In the history of daily life; of the common and mundane; all that is permanent and rooted in tradition. Careful analysis of the texts of the three monks will reveal the intrahistoric circumstances that have inevitably led to their conditions of existence. The three monks are currently carrying out their professions at the New Norcia Benedictine Monastery in Western Australia. New Norcia was originally a mission conceived by Spanish monks in the mid 19th Century With the intention of aiding to the survival of the Australian Aborigines by providing them With a Christian and European way of life. Most of the research surrounding New Norcia has tended to focus on one of its founders, Spanish Bishop Rosendo Salvado. Such focus has overshadowed the importance of the continuity of the place and of the individual histories that have contributed to the community's current position. This research looks into the intra-histories of the above mentioned monks, revealing what Unamuno referred to as the 'living present'. The Intra-history of a people is what consequently reveals more enduring traits than single 'grand' historic moments. The intention of the investigation is to concentrate on New Norcia's 'living present' instead of its 'buried past'.


Abstract in English, Text in Spanish.