We give ourselves in
service to one another and to people in need, with special emphasis on service
and advocacy for the poor. We commit ourselves to our traditional ministries,
while being open to new ones. We strive to live with the tensions that are
associated with the relationship between contemplation and action, community
life and apostolic service.
Poverty that demands simplicity of life and the sharing of our lives and talents with each other and with those we minister to,
Consecrated celibacy that opens us to growth in the Spirit in union with others,
Obedience that opens us as fully as possible to God's will.
ourselves to a life of self-giving, rooted in the conventual celebration of
Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours.
living is centered round the people and the building that constitute a
particular local church. The primary
focus of our mission is the ministry of common life and worship with the
confreres in the community. As ‘Norbertines’ we desire communion between
people, and so we share our faith, ideals and values, and our material goods,
with each other on our common pilgrimage towards God. As
‘canons’ we are dedicated to the dignified and public celebration of the
Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office) in choir each day. Our
life and liturgy as a canonical community is the foundation of our ministry and
service in the midst of our local Diocese.
The first "world of grace"
is that day-to-day, life-sustaining grounding that comes from living in common.
Much like our families of origin, Norbertines have a place to live which we can
call home and to which we can come home.
There, at home, we will find men
ranging from 88 to 23 years of age. Given the plethora of gifts, talents,
interests and abilities, each Norbertine has his own task to complete to make
the home run smoothly and comfortably. Each man contributes to the common cause;
yet when he is away for ministerial or familial responsibilities, he is missed!
The individual is missed because we do not live simply like a community of
bachelors dwelling separately under the same roof; rather; we live together as
brothers, in relationship to and with one another.
Therefore, the principle task that
each Norbertine embraces as his own task is living a common life around a common
table at the daily Eucharist -- the "font and summit" of our life
together. Daily, we are fed by the Word of God and by the Body of Christ,
fortifying us to become the very Body of Christ! The natural extension of that
sacred table is the table we gather around in the dining room. The presence of
Christ becomes most obvious as we eat together, recreate together, celebrate
Liturgy of the Hours together and simply enjoy each other's presence. Through
our participation in this common and holy life, a spirit of peace, charity and
It is because of the grounding we find
at home in liturgical, spiritual and familial ways that we are empowered to
venture into our second "world of grace": a common ministerial
By virtue of our baptismal call and by
means of our vowed life as Canons Regular, we serve the needs of the local
church through our common ministry to the poor and marginalized, the young and
the old. Locally, this ministry -- as a community serving local communities --
has found expression in our educational apostolates on the elementary, secondary
and collegiate levels. Norbertines serve in these institutions as teachers,
professors, administrators, counselors, campus ministers, financial officers,
and in governance as board members and trustees.
We serve in parishes entrusted to the
Order, and provide pastoral assistance to pastors of diocesan parishes. Our men
are engaged in sacramental celebration and pastoral care at area healthcare
facilities including hospitals, nursing homes and retirement villages. Further
away, our men serve as chaplains in various branches of the American Military
Apostolate and in foreign and medical missionaries established by our community.
Closer to home, some of our men minister to the Norbertine Community itself as
abbot, prior, house superior, provisor and directors of formation and vocation.
"Living in Two Worlds of
Grace" is an experience that has shown much prosperity and growth over the
years and, most recently, for St. Norbert Abbey in particular. Our parishes are
growing in numbers, facilities and resources. The number of men -- and our newly
ordained -- assisting in parishes is growing.
Not everyone may be called to
religious life or priesthood; the demands of such a lifestyle are great! And yet
the rewards received from living a life marked by Christian fraternity and
gospel service are often unmatched by what the world sometimes treasures as
'successful,' 'fulfilling' or 'rewarding."