Tag Archives: Norbertine

Easter Sunday answers our questions

Friends, As we approach the great feast of Easter –joy, hope, promise, salvation– let us consider the words from the 2019 Easter message of the Norbertine Abbot General, Jos Wouters. Let us keep each other in prayer and friendship.
 
The Abbot writes:
 
Some years ago, I preached the retreat during Holy Week at the abbey: an introduction to the mysteries celebrated in the liturgy of these holy days. To one of our confreres I admitted that it was far easier to speak about Jesus’ Passion, suffering and anguish preceding the resurrection, than about Easter itself.
 
He understood. He said that we all understand physical suffering, fear of death, betrayal and utter loneliness. But Easter points at something different and altogether new. All of us are familiar with the power of death and its forbidding presence in our daily life and in the world. Hope, faith and trust belong to the realm of grace. They are Gods’ gift. It is evident that we question ourselves about the sense of our attempts to love, to strive for fraternity and solidarity, our longing to be really good and caring in this world. We seem powerless against the doom of destruction and decay, violence and injustice.
 
But illuminated by his encounter with the living Christ, Saint Paul said: “What is foolish in the eyes of the world has been chosen by God to shame the wise; what is weak in the eyes of the world has been chosen by God to shame the strong; what is insignificant and despised in the eyes of the world, what is nothing, God has chosen to destroy what is something (1 Corinthians 1: 27-29).”
 
The gospel of Easter Sunday (John 20: 1-9) leads us every year again to the bud, the first gleam of the faith that has grown into the robust tree, the bright light that lives and shines forth in the proclamation of the gospel in the Apostolic Church and in the life and teaching of the saints. The scene is a garden: a place of cherished life, life that is taken care of. In this garden stands the empty tomb where the dead body of Jesus had been laid down with respect and care. Slowly it would become clear that what seemed the end was in reality a new beginning.
 
The confusion of Mary of Magdala, the silence of Peter and the faith of the disciple who ran faster than Peter, but entered the tomb after him, are all signs of an encounter with new life, with hope that takes root in our own life when we meditate on this “nothing” that destroys evil and death, which seem so all-overpowering. The peaceful and silent garden in the morning brims with life. Together with Mary Magdalene, Peter and the nameless disciple, we need to attune our hearts to the unexpected newness, to this seed of hope that buds in the garden. The mute lips of the empty tomb inarticulately speak of the victory of the crucified Christ. God proclaims unambiguously that He recognizes himself in this powerless Messiah who loved to the end.
 
The liturgy of Easter-tide will lead us into the fullness of the Pascal creed. We will need, however, to return often to this hesitant beginning. It is so tempting to give in to world-wise cynicism which is nothing but civilly disguised despair. Violence, decay, corruption, abuse – all forms of evil seem so imposing and powerful. In the words of psalm 11, 3 (11:3) we could ask “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The gospel of Easter Sunday answers this question. All genuine love and care are stronger than life-destroying evil. Death does not have the last word. The Father of Jesus does. And He is love.
May we find ways to live up to this faith in our communities as they are. May God’s Spirit be your breath.
 
Easter 2019,
Jos Wouters, o.praem., abbot-general
 
#Norbertine
#OPraem

Ordination and profession of vows in 2018

What follows is a general listing of various religious orders who admitted new members, professed vows and/or ordained. The purpose is to show how the Lord is working (or not) in many of the communities. Some communities are clearly alive and living the charism of their religious group; and it is equally clear that some groups are dying.

Alexian Brothers
3 clothed in the habit
6 renew temporary vows

Basilian Salvatorian Order, Methuen, MA
1 professed temporary vows

New Skete Monks, Cambridge, NY
1 clothed in the habit

New Skete Nuns, Cambridge, NY
1 clothed in the habit

Christ the Bridegroom Monastery, Burton, OH (Byzantine Catholic nuns)
1 professed life vows

Missionaries of the Holy Apostles, Cromwell, CT
1 admitted to postulancy
2 ordained deacon

Franciscan Handmaids of Mary
1 professed temporary

Franciscan Friars of the Renewal
8 admitted to postulancy
8 clothed in the habit
4 profess temporary vows
2 profess perpetual vows
1 ordained deacon
4 ordained priest

Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal
3 clothed with the habit

Capuchin Friars, St Mary Province, NY
6 men renew temporary vows

Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas
2 clothed in the habit
1 professed temporary vows
1 solemn vows
1 ordained deacon

Holy Cross Abbey —OCSO, Berryville, VA
1 admitted postulancy

Christ in the Desert Abbey, Abiquiu, NM
7 clothed in the habit
2 professed simple vows
3 renewed vows
12 solemn vows
1 ordained deacon

Our Lady of the Desert, Blanco, NM
2 professed final vows
1 professed simple vows
1 admitted to postulancy

Mount Saviour Monastery, Pine City, NY
2 admitted to postulancy
1 clothed in the habit
1 professed simple vows

St Scholastica Priory, Petersham, MA
3 clothed in the habit

Monastery of the Holy Cross, Chicago
1 ordained to diaconate

St Meinrad Archabbey, St Meinrad, IN
1 clothed in the habit 
2 professed simple vows
1 professed solemn vows
1 ordained priest

Subiaco Abbey, Subiaco, AR
2 ordained priests

Marmion Abbey, Aurora, IL
1 clothed in the habit
2 professed simple vows
1 ordained priest

Mount Angel Abbey, Mt Angel, OR
2 clothed in the habit
4 professed simple vows
3 professed solemn vows

St Joseph Abbey, Covington, LA
2 clothed in the habit

Conception Abbey, Conception, MO
3 clothed in the habit

St Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, PA
4 clothed in the habit
4 professed simple vows
2 professed solemn vows
2 ordained priest

St Bernard Abbey, Cullman, AL
3 clothed in the habit
3 professed solemn vows
1 ordained priest

Mary, Help of Christians Abbey, Belmont, NC
1 admitted to postulancy
1 clothed in the habit
1 professed solemn vows

Mary, Mother of the Church Abbey, Richmond, VA
1 admitted to postulancy

Assumption Abbey, Richardton, ND
1 professed simple vows

St Mary’s Abbey, Morristown, NJ
1 clothed in the habit 
1 professed simple vows

St Gregory’s Abbey, Shawnee, OK
1 admitted to postulancy

St Anselm Abbey, Manchester, NH
1 admitted to postulancy
3 clothed in the habit
1 professed simple vows
1 professed solemn vows

St Leo Abbey, St Leo, FL
1 professed simple vows
1 professed solemn vows

St Procopius Abbey, Lisle, IL
1 professed simple vows

St John’s Abbey, Collegeville, MN
1 professed simple vows
1 clothed in the habit

St Andrew Abbey, Cleveland, OH
1 clothed in the habit
1 ordained deacon
1 ordained priest

St Benedict’s Abbey, Atchison, KS
2 admitted to postulancy
2 clothed in the habit
2 professed simple vows
1 professed solemn vows
2 ordained deacon

Newark Abbey, Newark, NJ
1 admitted to postulancy
1 professed simple vows

St Martin’s Abbey, Lacey, WA
1 admitted to postulancy

St Anselm Abbey, Washington, DC
1 ordained deacon

St Gregory the Great Abbey, Portsmouth, RI
1 professed simple vows

Abbey of Regina Laudis, Bethlehem, CT
1 clothed in the habit
others in formation
3 given the Consecration of Virgins

Abbey of Our Lady of Ephesus, Gower, MO
10 in the novitiate
8 admitted to postulancy
5 junior professed

Immaculate Heart of Mary Monastery, Westfield, VT
1 professed simple vows (an extern sister)

Glencairn Abbey, Ireland (Trappistines)
2 postulants admitted
2 professed solemn vows

Tautra Mariakloster, Norway (Trappistines)
2 professed simple vows

Mount Saint Mary Abbey, Wrentham, MA (Trappistines)
3 admitted to postulancy
2 professed simple vows
1 professed solemn vows

Order of Preachers —Province of St. Joseph
16 clothed with the habit
9 professed simple vows
11 professed solemn vows
9 ordained priest
6 ordained deacon

Order of Preachers —Province of St. Albert the Great
1 professed simple vows
1 professed solemn vows

Our Lady of Grace Monastery —Order of Preachers, North Guilford, CT
1 admitted to postulancy, then novitiate
1 professed simple vows

Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne, Hawthorne, NY
2 clothed in the habit
2 renewed their vows

Dominicans of the Immaculate Conception, Chicago, IL
1 admitted to postulancy

Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Ann Arbor, MI
12 clothed in the habit
6 professed simple vows
7 professed perpetual vows

Dominican Missionaries for the Deaf Apostolate, New Britain, CT
3 admitted to postulancy
4 clothed in the habit
1 final profession
1 ordained priest

Society of Jesus
40 entered the Provinces in the USA, Canada, and Haiti
27 ordained priests for the States, Canada and Haiti
26 professed simple perpetual vows for the USA & Canada

Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Hamden, CT
4 admitted to postulancy
1 clothed in the habit
3 professed simple vows
5 renew vows
1 professed perpetual vows

Sisters of Life
6 clothed in the habit
4 renewed vows
7 professed simple vows
8 professed perpetual vows

Maryknoll Sisters
4 professed perpetual vows

Congregation of Norbertine Sisters, California
2 admitted to postulancy
2 professed simple vows

Abbey of Santa Maria de la Vid –Norbertines
1 clothed in the habit

St Norbert Abbey, Norbertines, DePere, WI
1 clothed in the habit
2 professed simple vows
1 professed solemn vows
1 ordained deacon
1 ordained priest

Abbey of Saint Michael, Norbertines, CA
1 ordained priest
? enter the novitiate

Legion of Christ
7 professed simple vows
11 clothed with the habit
9 to be ordained to priesthood scheduled for May 4, 2019

Order of Virgins
several made their consecration as Virgins in particular dioceses in the USA

St Norbert and the spider

“Sometime later he was wearing himself out by severe fasting and abstinence, pushing himself day and night with vigils and prayer. While he was celebrating Mass as customary in a certain crypt, a spider fell into the already consecrated chalice.[6-2] When the priest saw it he was shocked. Life and death hovered before his eyes. The spider was large. What should the man do whose faith[6-3] was now deeply rooted in the Lord? Lest the sacrifice suffer any loss he chose rather to undergo the danger and consumed whatever was in the chalice.

When the sacrifice was finished he expected to die immediately. While he remained at his place before the altar he commended his awaited end to the Lord in prayer. When he was disturbed by an itching in his nose he scratched it and suddenly he sneezed expelling the whole spider. Once again God did not want the death[6-4] but the faith of his priest who he knew would be useful to him.”

-Life of Norbert B (Vita Norberti B)

Saint Norbert

St Norbert detailBrian Fitzgerald’s 2014 essay, “Teaching by Word and Example: St Norbert of Xanten”(Crisis Magazine online) gives an insightful glimpse into a man we in the USA don’t know too much about but who continues to impact the way we live our common Catholic faith in communio. In some ways, the 11th century Norbert was a new “St Paul.” His contemporary Saint Bernard of Clairvaulx called Norbert “heavenly water pipe” yet no word of this text survives these centuries. Norbert founded a community of canons who followed the Rule of St Augustine which adhered to the idea: “docere verbo et exemplo” (to teach by word and example).

Several things that we ought to clue-in on from Norbert:

1. the centrality of preaching and Liturgy to the apostolic life;
2. the unity of the active and contemplative lives, the “mixed life”
3. Christians are to be “imitators of Christ’s disciples”
4. the Christian faith makes sense only in the communal aspect.

Saint Norbert, pray for us.

Saint Norbert

St Norbert with Eucharist and olive branch

This hymn text by J. Michael Thompson was published before, but it bears repeating again because as a prayer, it names the desires of the heart and puts us in right-relation to the Lord through the life of Saint Norbert.

“I myself shall lead my sheep,
Guarding them from danger;
They shall hear and follow me,
Not go with a stranger.
Into pastures rich and green—
God the Lord has spoken—
I shall bring my Israel,
With my love as token.”

Norbert, father of his flock,
Took to heart this warning,
And in all his works and words
Toiled from night to morning.
Guiding all within his cure,
He took time to nourish
With the love of Christ most fair,
Causing souls to flourish.

Father of the canon’s life,
Bishop of his city,
Prayed before the Eucharist,
Served the poor with pity.
Crowned a sacrificial life
With a death of glory;
Now we join with saints above
To retell his story!

Glory to the Father give,
Source of ev’ry blessing,
Glory to the Son we sing,
Who, our wrongs addressing,
Came to us as one of us!
To the Spirit, praises!
Hear the songs of thankfulness
Each believer raises!

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2010, World Library Publications
76 76 D
ST. KEVIN, AVE VIRGO VIRGINUM

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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