Daylesford Abbey Vocation RetreatWhy do men become a Norbertine priests? Why do some men answer God’s call, decide on a Catholic vocation, and join a religious order or religious community? Have you ever wondered why some become a Norbertine priest as a member of the religious order founded by Norbert of Xanten?

Often someone is drawn to learn more about a particular lifestyle because they have developed a relationship with that person, as a friend, a mentor, someone you study, walk or hike with, someone you golf with, play tennis with, share stories and experiences with.

Vocations Start Early

Our relationships begin early, with our parents and our siblings. These relationships expand as we go off to school, play sports such as soccer, basketball, baseball… The circle of relationships expands further in high school, as we meet people in different classes and in clubs and sports.

Some people then go to college, others enter the work force, but the circle of relationships continues to expand. They may be drawn to a deeper friendship as they find what they have in common with others. Some people feel called to a single life.  Or they discover a romantic relationship as they are called to the married life, fall in love, marry, and begin a new expanding circle of relationships with their spouse and own children.

Others deepen their relationship with God through prayer, their parish, Catholic school or religious education classes, and youth groups in high school. Perhaps they listen to promptings by the holy spirit as they pray to God.

Holy Week:  A Time to Consider A Vocation

Catholics will soon enter Holy Week and celebrate the Easter Triduum as we recall

Daylesford Abbey Vocation Retreat

Holy Week Vocation Retreat

the Paschal Mystery. On Holy Thursday, we celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, remembering when Jesus and his disciples gathered at the Last Supper.

On Good Friday, as we listen to the proclamation of the word of God, we recall the road to Calvary, followed by the crucifixion of Jesus and then his glorious Resurrection, which we celebrate on Easter Sunday. The Sacred Triduum can be especially meaningful as you meet, pray with, and come to know a Norbertine priest on their Triduum Vocation weekend.

Why did these men become a Norbertine priest?

Here are a few of their reasons.

Norbertine Priest Fr. CarlFather Carl’s Vocation Story

For Rev Carl Braschoss, OPRAEM, he said “The short answer is I do not know. If you would have told me in my early twenties that I would be a Norbertine, a member of the Canons Regular of Prémontré, I would have thought you were crazy.

Why? Well, I was not a fervent Catholic. I wasn’t even going to Mass nor doing much of anything else spiritually. At least so I thought.

I continued to go to Mass through high school and college, but Mass always felt perfunctory for me. It was something I felt I should do and never something I wanted to do.

I didn’t feel I was getting anything out of it Upon graduating from college and working as a corporate accountant, I found myself not supported by Catholic friends and fell away from the practice of my religion. Despondent with my career choice, yet unsure of what I wanted to pursue next, I set out on an exploratory trip across the USA.

Traveling the roads and byways of the US, I felt first the exhilaration of the open road and its promise to put me in better touch with myself. As an itinerant, I found myself asking time and time again “where am I going and why am I staying here.” To read more of his story click here.

Fr. John’s Vocation Story

Rev. John Novielli, OPRAEM has a saying: ‘God writes straight with crooked lines. I suppose that saying applies to me as I look back on my fiftyNorbertine Priest Father John years as a Norbertine.

I was brought up by immigrant Italian parents. They were very God-centered. But I would say that it was not a priority that one of their four sons would become a priest or religious. However, going to a Catholic school did reinforce the strange calling that I felt even as young as second grade.

Being an altar boy strengthened this feeling in being around priests and serving at the Lord’s altar. In high school this feeling would take root in going to a Norbertine school and watching the community members interact with one another. It was much different than the diocesan priests in the parish.

Along with several other classmates in high school, I became a Third Order Member. It was my intention to join the Order after high school, but that is when the crooked lines started to appear in my future.”  What happened next? To read more click here.

Click here for more vocation stories.,  One of their stories may resonate with your life, your questions, your journey. You can also watch a You Tube Video by Abbot Domenic. click here.

Vocation Weekend

Daylesford Abbey is having a special Triduum Vocation weekend this year April 14-17, 2022, for young men seeking greater meaning in life? If your discernment is leading you to learn more about the vocation of religious life, Daylesford Abbey welcomes you to join the Norbertine Community for this year’s Triduum and Vocations Weekend.

The weekend features the opportunity to pray, worship, and meet the Norbertine Community of Daylesford Abbey. On this weekend you will not only be able to join with the priests in the powerful liturgies of the Sacred Triduum but be able to spend time meeting and talking with the priests, praying with them and sharing meals with them.

If you are interested in learning more about this retreat, please contact Fr. John Joseph Novielli, O. Praem. at This could be the start of new relationships for you, meeting men who have chosen to live their vocation, follow their path in life, as a Norbertine priest at Daylesford Abbey.

The next step is yours to take. New relationships… New acquaintances… New friends… New opportunities… New possibilities… God and the priests await your visit, your discovery of a new vocation, a life filled with prayer, liturgy, study, community, and joy.