Abbey Tours from around the world
St. Michael’s Abbey, Orange County, CA
Tongerlo Abbey, Antwerp, Belgium
Montes Claros, Brazil
Convent of Norbertine Sisters, Imbramowice, Poland
Immersed in the 900-year tradition of our order, the Norbertine Fathers live a common life of liturgical prayer and care for souls. Our abbey in Orange County consists of over fifty priests and nearly forty seminarians studying for the priesthood.
Consecrating our days to the Lord
Our life at St. Michael’s Abbey is organized according to prayer of the Church: the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours. “Seven times a day I praise You,” says the Psalmist, and by chanting together the prayers of the Divine Office, Norbertine canons “continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God.”
Service, formed by our religious life
For more than fifty years, the Norbertine Fathers have served the Christian faithful in Southern California—“lifting high the Holy Eucharist over the miseries and errors of this world” (Saint Pope John Paul II). Our community’s apostolic ministries are many and various—from teaching in schools and at retreats to serving as chaplains—but they all find their source in our common life of prayer and fraternal charity.
The priests of our canonry operate parishes and teach in schools. We provide chaplains to colleges and communities of religious women. Some of our confreres write books and articles, while others have ministries through internet and radio. We celebrate the sacraments and teach religious education in prisons, youth facilities, hospitals, and nursing homes. Our abbey is the site of numerous retreats and Bible studies, as well as a popular summer camp run by our seminarians.
In short, we are an abbey of Catholic priests, united in love to praise God and serve His faithful people. Come and pray with us sometime. Peace be with you, and may God bless you always.
At the request of lord Giselbert, a wealthy landlord, around 1130 some Norbertines from the Sint-Michielsabdij in Antwerp came to settle on his estate in Tongerlo.
This young monastic foundation arose in the context of the ecclesiastical renewal movement around Norbert van Gennep, who had started a community of canons regular in Prémontré (F) around 1121.
To ensure its active existence, wild lands were cultivated. Prosperity and disaster alternated. There came times of growth and expansion in ‘all’ areas of society at the time. Striking lines of force were the pastoral services in forty churches and the prayer services with a solid core of choir lords. In addition to active relief for the poor, extensive patronage developed on many fronts of art, culture and science.
On December 6, 1796, the community of Tongerlo was forced to go into exile. As a result of the French Revolution, the abbey was closed and its property sold. This exodus forced Tongerlo to learn to live small in years of trial.
Badly battered, with only six survivors out of one hundred and twenty-six, Tongerlo was able to resume communal life in Broechem Castle in 1837-1840. They courageously searched for new ways with old values.
On July 1, 1840, a small group returned to Tongerlo. Years of rapid growth and vitality followed. Later in the century intense missionary activity unfolded, first in Great Britain (1872), then in the Congo (1892) and also in Chile (1965). Domestically, the vitality of the abbey community was marked by Eastern Priestly Aid, the Sports Apostolate, the Liturgical Apostolate and the presence in many parishes.
Changing ecclesial and social conditions, which have become visible and tangible since Vatican II, teach us to live anew with the joy of the Gospel, in fidelity to the celebration of the liturgy and in many forms of hospitality, proclamation, welcome and availability.
Founded in 1903, as a dependent house of Park Abbey (Belgium).
Elevated to canon in the General Chapter of 2000.
Canon belonging to the Brazilian Circaria by the General Chapter of 2012.
The Premonstratensian charism, God’s gift to his Church, consists of the Canonical life, that is, a simple form structured on five main pillars: community life – Liturgy of the Hours – Eucharistic Devotion – Marian Devotion – Pastoral Service. We have daily conventual mass and the liturgy of the hours solemnly prayed in common.
In continuity with our community life, we also take on various jobs with the People of God, according to the gifts of each one and the needs of the places where we are: parish priests, vicars, confessors and spiritual directors… All, however, live in the same convent, in community, in a life of prayer, meditation and sharing, always “Ready for every good Work!” (2Tm 2,21), as our founder Saint Norbert teaches us.
imagesCA7O39TXOur Ideal of Life is in Acts of the Apostles 4,32: “The multitude of the faithful were of one heart and one soul”. This is how we seek to live and, to organize our community life, we follow the Rule of St. Augustine.
[sic] … Difficult and uncertain living conditions in the following decades of People’s Poland did not manage to discourage the then prioress of the monastery, Mother Krystyna Bąk, from making strenuous and effective efforts in the State Monument Protection Service to obtain the necessary funds for renovation and conservation work on the destroyed monastery building. These long-term, dedicated efforts resulted primarily in the renovation of the interior and the extraction of the former beauty of the historic monastery temple.
In 1992, the sisters regained the lands once taken over by the state and the historic buildings of the former convent school in a state of complete devastation.
At that time, the cult of the Suffering Lord Jesus in the Image was significantly revived, which from the second half of the 19th century is worshiped in our monastery as famous for graces. The external expression of this cult and God’s extraordinary action are numerous votive offerings and thanks of the faithful for the extraordinary graces received from the Suffering Lord Jesus. On November 30, 2003, His Excellency, Bishop of Kielce, Kazimierz Ryczan, raised the local monastery church to the rank of the Regional Sanctuary of the Lord’s Passion with an annual indulgence celebrated on Palm Sunday.convent school
Considering the urgent needs in connection with the newly established Sanctuary, in 1996 the sisters undertook a very difficult and financially risky task of renovation and adaptation of one of the devastated buildings of the former convent school, which, thanks to the miraculous help of God’s Providence, will be put to use by the faithful in the near future as a retreat house. Due to the fact that the local sacral building, seemingly modest, yet so valuable and significant in terms of religion, history and culture, remains under the cover of glaring damage, the sisters are now making every effort to obtain the necessary funds for renovation and modernization purposes.
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