In our 875+ year history, we Norbertines (also called Premonstratensians after our ancient mother abbey in northern France) have had a simple, consistent charter: to be living examples of the "community of God" spreading the Good News of God's love for humanity.
We do this by expressing his love through living a simple, communal life as close to Christian perfection as possible while remaining very involved in the life of the Body of Christ outside our communities. Our mission of "Community," or charism, is to use Christian Love, or Caritas, as a tool to promote faith in Christ, and unity of purpose and action.
In Norbert's world of the 12th century, promotion of Christian faith and action involved preaching, settling disputes (both worldly and religious), reforming european Catholicism where necessary, and living a simple communal life according to the Rule of St. Augustine, rich in liturgy and with special emphasis on the sung Divine Office. In this manner, our Founder St. Norbert was faithfully fulfilling the way of life described in Acts, where, "they had all things in common."
In our modern world, Premonstratensian -- or Norbertine -- involvement in Christian faith and action involves spreading the word of God by:
Preaching the Word of God in Norbertine houses, parishes, educational institutions, and here on the internet,
Participating in, and where possible leading, in appropriate reform efforts and transitions throughout the Catholic Church,
Promoting Christian unity of purpose through our example of a unified community of canons, brothers and sisters,
Being involved in an aggressive and empathetic outreach to those less fortunate wherever they may be,
Parish support through our own parishes and assistance to diocesan clergy,
Missions to remote communities in need of hearing the Good News,
Teaching in, and operating educational institutions,
Opening Norbertine Houses to the laity and inviting their witnessing of, and participation in our communities,
Third Order and Associate participation in the life of our community and leadership in Catholic efforts in their own communities.
Of course, as members of the Premonstratensian Order, we still endeavor to live a simple communal life according to the Rule of St. Augustine, rich in tradition, liturgy, and featuring the sung Divine Office. Over the past eight-plus centuries, we have achieved a consistent balance between the communal and contemplative religious community, and intense, caring involvement with our fellow Christians in the Body of Christ at large. Our Premonstratensian Order is unique among Roman Catholic Orders in combining in our communities the highest intellectual scholarship, the most elegant religious traditions, and the most profound love of and identification with the Real Presence of God in our community.
As an interested person, you are cordially invited to attend a Service (such as Mass or the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament) or the Sung Divine Office at the Premonstratensian house closest to you! Come and experience the Love of God in its highest form and deepest profundity! Contact the Premonstratensian House closest to you for details.