St Clement’s Retreat (Monastery) Fascinating establishment in a wonderful rural setting
St Clement’s at Galong became a home for the Redemptorists in 1917, when ‘Galong House’ and its surrounding 800 acres, the home of “Ticket of Leave” convict Ned Ryan, was left to them by his son, John Nagle Ryan M.L.A.
Galong House known locally as ‘Galong Castle’ was left by Ned Ryan’s son to the Cistercians, who took one look at the parched dry land and took flight. Following their refusal to accept the inheritance, the Redemptorist’s had second choice and in 1917 they took possession of the land and it became a college for the religious training and secondary schooling of aspirants to the Redemptorist life. The Monastery, which includes the Retreat Centre, is named after the Austrian-born Saint Clement Hofbauer (1751-1820).
Some 2,000 young men were educated at Galong before the college closed in 1975 and a retreat house was established. The Ryan legacy includes examples of interesting architecture, some of which has survived for almost 160 years and the Redemptorist Fathers, who through diligence and dedication have added to the substantial group of buildings evident today. From the earliest days of the Redemptorist’s mission the priests, brothers and students who lived here contributed to the farm’s viability and sustainability.
When we look at St Clement’s today, we are immediately conscious of the large red brick building which has embellished the surrounding countryside for nearly a hundred years.