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Fire turns monastery to rubble

by Brad A. Greenberg

November 16, 2008 | 4:57 pm

Formerly Mount Calvary Monastery (Photo: LA Times)

Air quality in Los Angeles is often poor, but right now it looks like Beijing outside. The family of fires that began Thursday night in Montecito, devastating Westmont College, and multiplied Friday and Saturday in Sylmar, Palos Verde and Orange County have taken over the region.

This, I imagine, is what the sky will look like in Megiddo when the world comes to an end.

Check out LAObserved for a run-down of fire coverage. There are some breathtaking photos and heartbreaking stories out there. A few that I just came across deal with the Mount Calvary Monastery, a Benedictine retreat in the mountains above Santa Barbara. It’s all gone:

“We all feel kind of numbed, shocked, by the whole thing,” said Brother Nicholas Radelmiller of the Order of the Holy Cross, which tended the monastery for the Episcopal Church. “We looked out our refectory window and could see flames a ridge away. They were getting bigger and bigger. We did the dishes and decided we had better leave, so each of us packed a little suitcase and left.”

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