Prayers for a Norbertine vocation

Discussion in 'Prayer requests' started by BrianK, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. BrianK

    BrianK Proud2bRC Staff Member

    Thanks Mario.

    We were visiting a priest friend yesterday and in reply to one of his remarks about a delicate episode he had endured, I said, "Well, that was just to keep you humble."

    To which he replied, "Keep? That's assuming one has arrived at a humble state already!"
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  2. BrianK

    BrianK Proud2bRC Staff Member

    And we made it safe and sound to the Chesapeake bay to visit frater Silvan's confrere, frater Gerard. FullSizeRender.jpg FullSizeRender.jpg
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  3. Praetorian

    Praetorian Powers

    Congratulations Brian, you're both looking good!
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  4. BrianK

    BrianK Proud2bRC Staff Member

    Thanks Praetorian! We just rode a couple miles on beach cruiser bicycles, my first ride in two years. I never thought I'd regain enough balance and strength on my left side to get back on two wheels. Deo gracias!
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  5. Praetorian

    Praetorian Powers

    Wonderful! Sounds like a lot of fun.
  6. BrianK

    BrianK Proud2bRC Staff Member

    My son frater Silvan was here in Massachusetts last week during his annual summer break. He’s just finishing up his fourth year of formation with the Norbertines.

    We went to visit the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge Massachusetts. It’s a wonderful museum and if you’ve never visited and you’re a fan of Norman Rockwell it’s worth the trip. F433E774-A409-4B70-B23C-B4D8F909608D.jpeg
  7. HeavenlyHosts

    HeavenlyHosts Powers

    I love Norman Rockwell! He’s a native, I gather. So glad to see Frater Silvan.
    Good times.
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  8. BrianK

    BrianK Proud2bRC Staff Member

    Yes, Rockwell had his studio here for several decades and was a regular part of small town life here. Very humble guy. His studio was moved to the museum grounds and is part of the museum.

    My best friend lives near here and saw Rockwell riding his bicycle near his studio here in the 70s and stopped and chatted with him. He was that approachable.

    In this photo frater Silvan is standing in front of the original paintings for those iconic Saturday Evening Post covers.
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  9. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Awww he loks so well in the habit. Prayers
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  10. HeavenlyHosts

    HeavenlyHosts Powers

    All good, God bless
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  11. AED

    AED Powers

    I've been there. Its wonderful!
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  12. AED

    AED Powers

    What joy for you Brian. And for all of us too. Seeing your son and his conferes gives hope.
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  13. HeavenlyHosts

    HeavenlyHosts Powers

    Brian, he is such a dear soul. I know he is a consolation to you :)
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  14. Mario

    Mario Powers

    Yes, he sure does!:ROFLMAO: I see that his ears have been noticeably lowered. Does he have to keep his hair shorter now, or is that just his summer cut for California?

    St. Norbert, pray for us!
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  15. HeavenlyHosts

    HeavenlyHosts Powers

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  16. BrianK

    BrianK Proud2bRC Staff Member

    Their abbot wants them to keep it fairly short, but long enough to part. This is as short as allowed and it’s the shortest cut he’s gotten. He had just had a haircut for the summer before he left California.
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  17. BrianK

    BrianK Proud2bRC Staff Member

    There was a nice article about his abbey in a recent Crux news entry:

    Norbertines build new abbey to house growing community
    [Editor’s Note: Father Justin Ramos grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California. In 1987 during his university studies he entered the ancient and venerable order of the Canons Regular of Prémontré (commonly known in the United States as the Norbertines) of St. Michael’s Abbey in Orange County, California. He was ordained a priest June 24, 1995. In addition to regularly offering Mass on the weekends among other parishes in Orange and San Diego County, he works in the office of St. Michael’s Abbey Foundation, which was created in 2009 to steward the funds being raised to construct a new abbey complex that will be sufficient to accommodate the dramatic growth in vocations that St. Michael’s Abbey continues to experience. He spoke to Charles Camosy about his vocation and the Norbertine charism.]

    Camosy: I grew up in Wisconsin, and had friends who attended St. Norbert’s College, so I knew about the Norbertines. But many of our Crux readers may not know about your order; can you fill them in?

    Ramos: Saint Norbert founded the Norbertine Order in 1121 in Prémontré, France after his dramatic conversion, similar to that of Saint Paul the apostle. He was intent on reforming not only his own life but that of the clergy by founding an order of priests that live and pray the Liturgy of the Hours together in an Abbey and perform apostolic works in their surrounding area.

    Norbertines are also known as “Canons Regular of Prémontré.” The life of a canon regular combines monastic or conventual life with an apostolate that flows from that life. At St. Michael’s, this includes teaching in schools; retreat work; chaplaincies in hospitals, colleges and prisons; parish work and spiritual direction.

    St. Michael’s Abbey had humble beginnings when a group of seven Hungarian refugees from the Abbey of St. Michael at Csorna, Hungary, fled their country in 1950 and eventually came to the United States.

    You have a new abbey in Southern California. Tell us about it.

    Our community has grown exponentially since it was founded in the 1960s, so much so that it was necessary to build a facility that would not only house the current priests and seminarians, but also accommodate the many young men who wish to enter.

    Currently, we have fifty priests and nearly forty seminarians in various stages of formation. We have simply outgrown our current facility and are unable to expand. We have purchased land nearby and are in the middle of building a Romanesque-style abbey, designed by French architect Jean-Louis Pages, in the tradition of the abbeys in Europe. St. Michael’s will become a quiet oasis of prayer and faith. The new Abbey should be completed by October 2020.

    One generally doesn’t think of Abbey dwellers as very online, but you have a new internet platform called the “Abbot’s Circle.” Can you tell us more about that and what that entails?

    So many people are formed, influenced, persuaded by what they read, see and hear in social networks.

    The Abbot’s Circle is a monthly giving team that provides regular financial support of the abbey and our various ministries. We created a Digital Library as a ‘thank you’ for that support. It includes written, audio, and visual content that allows us to teach (or, if you will, preach to) the masses of people who are using the latest social means of communication. It provides resources for anyone seeking inspiration, instruction, insight into their faith or a deepening of their knowledge of God.

    You are also developing a new video series titled “After the Upper Room.” What is that about? Will that also be available online?

    Yes, “After the Upper Room” is our second web-series that will be available online. The first being the critically-acclaimed seven-part series, City of Saints.

    What happened after our Lord ascended into heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to the apostles? This new series will focus on the mission of the apostles - where they preached, how they influenced and converted nations - in essence how the budding primitive Church carried out the divine mandate to ‘Go and baptize all nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.’

    New abbeys and exciting projects generally come from orders that are growing. It must be the case that Norbertine vocations are healthy, yes? To what do you attribute this healthy state of the order?

    Yes, we are very fortunate to have nearly forty young men in various stages of formation in the seminary. Five more applications have been accepted for the fall, but with our physical limitations, we are unsure how many more we can accept this year. God is blessing St. Michael’s Abbey tremendously because of our fidelity to the traditional Magisterium of the Church, as well as a strong prayer life, including chanting the Divine Office in common throughout the day.

    Where can Crux readers find more information about these projects and the Norbertine order more generally?

    Crux readers can find out more information about all of our projects, the Abbott’s Circle, the new Abbey, and more on our website - We would also like to welcome your readers to come visit and pray with us. And if you would like to watch, listen, and read more about the work of the Norbertine Fathers at St. Michael’s Abbey, you can visit the Abbot’s Circle at -
  18. BrianK

    BrianK Proud2bRC Staff Member

    At the bottom of that article was a photo and link to another one also about his abbey I hadn’t previously seen. I was happy to see frater Silvan in the main photo from that article:

    Norbertines open door to the abbey with new digital platform
    ROME - While only two years shy of the 900th anniversary of its foundation, the Norbertine order in California shows no signs of aging. The religious order, which endeavors to carry forward the old and engage with the new, launched a website on Nov. 1 that promises to bring its charisma outside the abbey walls.

    “The Abbot’s Circle, as St. John Paul II prophesied, is ‘the first Areopagus of the modern age’ since it forms and engages its members in the authentic and traditional teaching of the Church’s Magisterium by means of video, audio and written content easily accessible on your smart phone, computer or tablet,” said Norbertine Father Justin Ramos in an email to Crux.

    The new internet platform, called the Abbot’s Circle, was created by the Norbertine community in St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, California, as part of a wider project to expand and develop a new abbey.

    The order, which almost faced extinction at the beginning of the 19th century, now prides itself on having “a vocation crisis of a different kind,” with too many men wishing to join given the abbey’s capacity. The Norbertines at St. Michael count a robust 38 young men in formation, 50 priests and nine new postulants.

    In what the order calls “one of the largest capital campaigns in the history of the Catholic Church in America,” the Norbertines have managed to collect $120 million for their plan for the new abbey, double the original request. Construction is expected to be completed in two years.

    This was possible thanks to monthly donations and the interest stirred by viral online videos showcasing the order. The web television series “City of Saints,” launched in Spring 2017, reached over a million views by presenting the ministry of the white-clad Norbertine priests in Southern California.

    The Abbot’s Circle represents the second step in “expanding our ministry beyond our abbey wall,” said Shane Giblin, Chief Advancement Officer at St. Michel’s Abbey, in an interview with Crux.

    Watching the success of the seven-part web series “further encouraged us that what we have is something special, and the world is hungry,” adding, “the fathers profoundly impacted people in a way that I’ve never seen before.”

    According to Giblin, it was in large part thanks to this impact that the order was able to put together such a large sum, and the Abbot’s Circle is a way to show gratitude toward those who believe in their ministry.

    “It shows how much the community values the incredible work that they do,” he said, and “we wanted to thank them and give them spiritual nourishment.”

    On the site, faithful can find anything from the web series to Norbertine videos explaining the meaning of “consubstantial,” to spiritual reflections and even the Latin chants that make the order a staple of the California religious scene.

    “St. Norbert, a Catholic reformer, founded the Norbertines to lift up a demoralized clergy, preach to the lay faithful, and so renew the Church in difficult times,” said Father Chrysostom Baer, Prior of St. Michael’s Abbey, in the Nov. 1 press release.

    “We are fulfilling this very same mission today, in a time when both laity and clergy are demoralized by scandal, by using new media to connect with the faithful and offer support and guidance,” he said.

    The Norbertines combine a monastic lifestyle with active ministry, so that while placing an emphasis on a communal life of prayer, its priests also cater to the disabled, teach at various levels and serve the sick and the elderly. Over 1,000 liturgies are celebrated every month at the abbey, but the Norbertines believe the internet holds the key to reaching and evangelizing today’s masses.

    A system to reach the priests, “Ask a Norbertine,” is scheduled for next month as well as a program that would allow faithful to ask for prayers during Mass. Giblin also said that an App is in the works for next year.

    “Fathers have astutely noticed that the internet is not going away anytime soon, and they see a real need to leverage that, and harness that, in terms of communicating with people and getting back to them, but also in terms of evangelizing,” Giblin said.

    Lifting the curtain though the internet and allowing believers to look in, he said, has proven to be a powerful tool for the Norbertines in terms of rebuilding their spiritual ties with the community, which at times can feel a bit severed.

    “The fathers are incredibly humble,” Giblin said, “they don’t tell enough people about how special they are.”

    The web series was a sneak-peak into opening the doors of the abbey, he said, and the online platform is a means to be a more “interactive” religious community.

    “We hope this website too will tell their story for them,” Giblin added, and “inspire people to live lives of greater virtue.”

    This is the link to the portal Abbot’s Circle:

  19. fallen saint

    fallen saint Baby steps :)

    Look at picture he looks happy. Norbertines are a very special order. Wouldn’t doubt some of us will live to see a few saints from that order.

    Even though you know what I say...we are all saints, if not you are on the other team.

    I know God is watching over that order.

    Br. al
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  20. BrianK

    BrianK Proud2bRC Staff Member

    Here’s some photos of the illustration and construction of the new abbey: B7396AC4-7B46-4DF3-9B9F-82DF17DCDEEE.jpeg 52BEBD40-4A37-40E2-86B5-098F84CE47AD.jpeg E784C747-1D4A-4F2A-8F36-D25E732F1701.jpeg 32154CB9-43CE-4E5C-9C88-8910C293C679.jpeg E4974C7D-C48D-486C-9D41-F0AF0496E936.jpeg

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