What would you ask Norbert if you could?
Asked that question, a handful of modern-day Norbertine followers responded thus:
Father Andrew Ciferni of Daylesford Abbey in Paoli, Pennsylvania:
“First of all, I would want to ask him for his opinion on the quality of life we were living. And I don’t mean are people not living in corruption of public sin. It’s the mediocrity – what I see as the mediocrity. I would ask him how he would address that. How he would restart the fire.”
Prior Brad Vanden Branden of St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere:
“‘Yours is a monastic way of life, but, at the same time, we’re called to be out in the community, in schools, ministering. And that can create a bit of tension. I would be curious what [your] original plan was. How are we to live a life in common amid so much polarization?’”
Prior Emeritus Eugene Gries of Santa María de la Vid Abbey in Albuquerque:
“‘What did you fear? What was the troubled world like for you?’”
Abbot Joel Garner of Santa María de la Vid Abbey in Albuquerque:
“I would like to ask Norbert, ‘Just a few years after you founded the community at Prémontré, you were asked to be the Archbishop of Magdeburg, and you obediently accepted. Was this a difficult transition for you? You were called to a whole other way of life from that which you founded. What was the experience of that transition? Did you ever desire to return to your community at Prémontré?’”
Father Chrysostom Baer, prior of St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, California:
“‘What can we do to return to our original charism, to be more faithful to our Norbertine way of life?’”
Do you, like the above men, feel compelled to religious life, and more specifically a life like St. Norbert? We all have a vocation in life, and for some, religious life or the Catholic priesthood is that life. Learn more about the Norbertine tradition at Daylesford Abbey, and ponder the questions earlier stated and how St. Norbert might answer them.