Rev. Msgr Ronald Royer
Royer Oaks home and observatory, 40708 Balch Park Road, Springville, CA, is located 5.5 miles up that road and just below the former John Sanford Starhome Observatory, which is visible on the ridge above the 25 inch telescope in the photo. Monsignor Ronald Royer bought the property in 2000 and built a retirement home for his mother Violet and himself. He moved the dome from his St. Pancratius parish in Lakewood. This dome is a gift from Jim Westphal of Caltech who used it on White Mt. for IR research and dust compaction on the moon for the Apollo 11 landing. It was first moved to his parish in Azusa. It is used for research and for education as we host many star parties for all ages of people.
John Sanford died December 11, 2011 and Violet Iris Rose Pompey Royer died June 12, 2012. See this Cupertino TV Productions video of Monsignor Royer discussing his mother.
Msgr. Royer is a Roman Catholic priest, and a life-long amateur astronomer. He is active with AAVSO and his astrophotos are available from Science Photo Library. He chose to retire to Springville in 2002 because of the combination of dark skies and easy access to the necessities of senior living. The beautiful views of the Sierras with their rainbows, golden sunsets, and the Giant Sequoias on the ridge line (all easily visible from the house and observatory) are a bonus!
Although he is officially retired from the active duties of parish administration, Msgr. Royer continues to actively serve the faithful as a priest in residence of Saint Anne's Parish. He is the chaplain to the Springville Catholic community, and assists at the Tule River Reservation and the Porterville Developmental Center. He is an active and vital part of the pastoral life of Saint Anne's Parish missions and ministries.