Fires Consume Retreat House

A 17th-century gold altar from South America was among the irreplaceable treasures lost when a wildfire destroyed a Benedictine Anglican retreat center in California.

Zenit reported yesterday that, “The Montecito fire had the Mount Calvary Retreat House in Santa Barbara County in its path. The six men religious who lived in the center and other staff were evacuated on time and there were no injuries reported.”

However, the six brothers living at the house lost all of their possessions, and total damages caused by the blaze are estimated in the millions.

Southern California firefighters are finally making headway against the devastating wildfires that have hit the region, as weather conditions become more favorable, but the blazes have caused massive damage. The Los Angeles Times reports, “In all, 842 homes have been destroyed in the last several days, and more than 100 more damaged.”

— Tom McFeely