We are the Canons Regular of Prémontré, also known as the Premonstratensians, Norbertines, or White Canons (in the British Isles). We are a group of Roman Catholic priests, brothers and sisters. Our Order was founded by St. Norbert in the early 12th century, at the dawn of the great reform movement of the high middle ages in western Europe.
To a very great extent, our Order is responsible for the culture known in secular circles today as Western Civilization. It was the reforming, pacifying, and civilizing influence of St. Norbert, combined with the zeal he inspired, that resulted in the creation of almost 400 Order houses throughout the medieval world, stretching from Palestine in the east to Norway (some even say Vinland) in the west; from Latvia in the north to Sicily in the south. In each location, peace, christian virtue, learning and other attributes now considered "native" to western culture were planted and nourished. As a result, you have the High Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and finally, modern western civilization. This website is meant as a tribute to this effort of over 875 years by our religious Order -- the Premonstratensians.
We lead communal lives in Priories and Abbeys following the Rule of St. Augustine, yet involve ourselves heavily in activities outside of our houses.
Currently (2004) we number just over 1,000 members, of which approximately 800 are priests, brothers, deacons and novices, and approximately 200 are sisters. At this time we are present in the following nations: France, Belgium, Netherlands, Britain (England), Ireland (Republic), Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Poland, Romania, United States of America, Canada, South Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly known as Zaire), Brazil, Chile, Peru, India and Australia.