A Visit to Rifugio San Gaspare

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Tori welcomes one and all to Rifugio San Gaspare:


One viewer of my blog thought the top bar was a picture of where I lived. Nope, though I surely would not mind living there. The picture on the top bar is a picture from my window at the Abbey of San Felice in Giano del Umbria, Italy. It looks toward the Mountain where at the top there is a special place called Rifugio San Gaspare. There is also a delightful restaurant there called Ristorante Rifugio San Gaspare.

So, to be clear, I live in Newark, CA where I am Pastor of St. Edward Catholic Church, a large multi-ethnic parish with a large school and Faith Formation program, and a few more than 6000 families. We have two daily Masses and nine weekend Masses in three languages. The Pastoral Team consists of 12 full time members, including two Dominican Sisters and three Precious Blood Priests.

The Rectory has a great deal of office space in the front, but there is a private section which is the residence. The portion of the rectory where I live I have personally named as my own private Rifugio San Gaspare. It consists of a bedroom, a private study, and a garden. It is a place I go to simply to be. It is a little oasis, a place of study, of retreat, of prayer, and of relaxation. The garden is also a place of community. Each Sunday there is a moment of camaraderie when we decide what it is we are going to grill this week, share life and stories, and even argue over everything from what the church does for liturgy, and our favorite baseball teams.

So here is a little tour of the Left Coast version of St. Gaspar’s retreat:

The Study:


Another view of the study with my shrine to St. Gaspar:

The view from the couch during compline, showing the Madonna del Soccorso above the fireplace, and my faithful companion, Tori:

What is currently my morning reading material:

The Garden:

The flowers:

the birds:

Does anyone know what species of bird this is?

Tori’s playground:

The herbs, lavender, sage, cilantro, oregano and rosemary:

The tomatoes and basil, I also grow thyme, and mint, also lettuce and arugula.:

The Garden is also a place of prayer. Here is the Irish Cross:

The shrine to St. Gaspar:

The Statue of the Sacred Heart:

The Madonna of the Precious Blood:


Our Lady of the Assumption:

La Virgen de Guadalupe

Hospitality is one of the marks of a Precious Blood Missionary. Every so often I host a six-course Italian meal:

But every week there is a BBQ in the garden:

Some scallops and shrimp for appetizers:

The best in hospitality and food as desired by St. Gaspar himself:

Missionaries of the Most Precious Blood seek to dedicate themselves to the service of the Church through the apostolic and missionary activity of the ministry of the Word.

We are called to a faithful celebration of the Most Holy Mysteries in the Eucharist, the Sacraments and in the Daily Prayer of the Church.

We seek to be faithful to the charism of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, to the teachings of the Fathers, and all that is handed down in Tradition, which the Church either by a solemn judgment or by the ordinary and universal Magisterium sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed.

"Our principle is that of St.Vincent de Paul: apostles out in the field, Carthusians at home." from the letters of St. Gaspar, Letter 1040 to Fr. Luigi Locatelli, January 24, 1825


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Fr. Jeff,

Wonderful photos. As to the bird, Dave thinks it is some sort of finch.

Maria Elena

Fr. Jeff,

The photos portray a message of tranquility.
Tori is a lucky companion.

Blaine Ricketts

I second the id on the house finch, male.

Here's more than you want to know:


This is a wonderful post about this lovely place, I would love to have the opportunity to live in a place like this so quite and peaceful. The pictures says it all.

Thanks for the post.It was great peace indeed to see the pics of beautifully sculpted garden as well as the views and indoor decor.

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This page contains a single entry by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. published on April 12, 2008 6:36 PM.

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