Daylesford Abbey Ministries
Daylesford Abbey has been described as “an oasis of peace.” The cadence of our life is rooted in our common prayer and provides an environment of reconciliation and contemplation. It is from our Abbey that we go forth to serve the local church and the wider community.
Norbertines from the Abbey are responsible for two parishes in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia: Saint Norbert Parish in Paoli and Saint Gabriel Parish in South Philadelphia. We also have men who serve part-time at several other parishes. Each weekend and many weekdays, priests from the Abbey help out with Masses and confessions at area parishes.
Bethesda Project is a major ministry to the homeless of Philadelphia — was founded in 1979 by Norbertine Domenic Rossi and the Abbey prayer group that he was leading at the time. It has grown from one residence for women to 14 facilities ranging from emergency shelters to permanent supportive residences. It serves over 2000 different individuals per year. Now Abbot, Domenic Rossi continues to volunteer and to serve on its Board of Directors.
Focuses on our community’s commitment to serving those in need, especially to three groups.
First, we collect non-perishable food each Sunday at our Mass that is then delivered to St. Gabriel’s Food Cupboard.
Second, we provide support for the homeless through our ministry at Bethesda Project, both in collecting and delivering casseroles each month and with a special collection throughout Lent and Holy Week.
Third, we support Mission Santa Maria as it ministers to the migrant community in Chester County, both with monthly deliveries of non-perishable food as well as a special collection throughout Advent.
In the past, many of the men at the Abbey have been involved in the educational apostolate, at the grade school and college level but primarily in high school ministry. Today, we have two men who are assigned full time to Archmere Academy in Claymont Delaware, a college preparatory school founded by our Order in 1932 and currently sponsored by Daylesford Abbey. We have two priests who work there full time. One of our men is also the chaplain at Villa Maria Lower School in Immaculata.
Stephen Ministry is special, one-to-one, confidential Christ-centered care, for those going through difficult times in life. No one is untouched. At some point in life, everyone faces loss or periods of crisis, transition, or difficulty. During these times people can receive great benefit from a caring relationship with someone who will has been trained to listen, as well as empathize, pray with and for them, and encourage them with Christ’s love and care.
Spiritual direction aims to make clear the voice of God so one can become more responsive to God in our lives. The Holy Spirit operates in the ordinary experience of our everyday life and ironically we miss most of these epiphanies precisely because they are so ordinary. It is by taking our experience into prayer and spiritual direction that affords us the opportunity of making these encounters more manifest.