Centenary Jubilee of Canonry of Jamtara/St. Norbert Abbey Jamtara (1923 to 2023)

Norbertines of Mondaye beginning a new community on the French-Spanish border! God bless you, Brothers!

Premonstratensians inaugurate new monastery building in Magdeburg

May 8, 2023 by archyde

2023-05-08 14:03:00

The Wilten Abbey in Innsbruck has a new abbot in the young Upper Austrian. Leopold Baumberger succeeds Raimund Schreier, who had to resign from office after 30 years at the age of 70. Innsbruck’s diocesan bishop Hermann Glettler congratulated the newly elected abbot, according to Kathpress: “I am convinced that the youthfulness of the appointed abbot is a clear signal to place responsibility for large church tasks in the hands of young people.”

Baumberger, who was born in Steyr, wants to cultivate the traces of faith in Wilten that go back to Roman times. “This tradition is a living treasure entrusted to us. Each generation has a mandate to continue writing this story,” he said. Wilten should be a place of faith “for many more generations to come”.

Baumberger first studied pharmacy at the University of Graz and passed the pharmacist examination. He then began studying Catholic theology at the University of Innsbruck as a seminarian for the diocese of Linz. There he got to know the order of the Premonstratensians in Wilten Abbey and entered there in 2014. After his final profession at Wilten Abbey in 2018, he was ordained a deacon and a priest in 2019.

Dear Abbot General Jos Wouters, O. Praem and Definitors,

Prayerful greetings from St. Norbert Abbey Jamtara, Jabalpur, India!

I wish to inform you that Canonry of Jamtara will be starting its Centenary Jubilee year from 28th October 2022. 100 years of Norbertine Fathers’ presence in India will be completed in 2023. In view of this I wish to share with a brief history of Norbertine Fathers’ presence in India.


The first three Norbertines arrived on Indian soil in 1923 as Missionaries from the Abbey of Berne, The Netherlands. Their field of ministry was located in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. In 1929 they took up Jabalpur region (Madhya Pradesh) for their apostolate. They concentrated mainly on the development of the people of Mandla District (M.P) through parochial, educational and health care activities. In 1932 Jabalpur was constituted as a Prefecture Apostolic and Rt. Rev. Msgr. Conrad Dubbleman, O.Praem was appointed as the first Prefect Apostolic. On July 5, 1954, Jabalpur was raised to the status of a Diocese and Msgr. Conrad Dubbleman, O.Praem became the first Bishop. 

St. Norbert Priory, the first house of the Norbertine Order in India, was started at Jamtara, in the suburbs of Jabalpur Town, Madhya Pradesh. The Novitiate was established at Jamtara, Jabalpur in 1962. Fr. Rudolphus Frans Rooijmans, O.Praem was the first Novice Master with three novices. Striving to establish the Kingdom of God, the Canonry of Jamtara had one of slow and steady growth. From a small tree, the Canonry of Jamtara has grown into a sturdy tree giving shelter and shade to many. St. Norbert Priory, Sub-Canonry of Jamtara was elevated to an autonomous Canonry status on February 15, 1984.  October 7, 2000 was once again a red-letter day for the Norbertine Canonry in India. On this day, St. Norbert Priory was elevated to the status of “St. Norbert Abbey”. We very fondly remember 50 of those Dutch Missionaries came and sown the seed of Christ message in the Indian soil. They worked in the remotest area of Mandla District in the Diocese of Jabalpur. It is their tireless work, sweat and unfathomable commitment which gave growth to the present Canonry of Jamtara. Today we remember and salute their dedicated service. 

Rt. Rev. Nicholas Ambrose, O.Praem became the first Abbot and received his abbatial blessing on November 13, 2000. Rt. Rev. Rocky D’Souza, O.Praem was elected as the second Abbot of St. Norbert Abbey on August 1, 2003 and he received his abbatial blessing on September 17, 2003. Rt. Rev. Abbot Benzes Thomas, O.Praem was elected as the third Abbot on July 23, 2009 and he received his abbatial blessing on September 30, 2009. Rt. Rev. Abbot Marcus Champia, O. Praem was elected as the fourth Abbot on March 1, 2015 and received his abbatial blessing on April 30, 2015 and   now he leads the Canonry to become a vibrant witnessing community. 


To experience communion with God, fellow brothers and sisters, universe and oneself in its fullness, as lived by Jesus Christ, inspired by St. Norbert and St. Augustine, and to share that experience with every one through our life and mission.


To emphasize and establish communion in all aspects of our life. To enhance our present apostolate with both spiritual and professional means and take up new missions wherever needed reading the signs of the times. To commit ourselves to a preferential option for the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized and foster love, freedom, justice, unity and peace. To join hands with all people of good will to work for human dignity and rights, to preserve and enhance cultural identity and values and the sanctity of creation.

The Canonry of Jamtara Today:

Today the Canonry of Jamtara renders its service in different fields like, pastoral, educational, technical training, communication, social work, village development, empowerment of the poor and the marginalized. Today the membership stands at 106 solemn professed confreres working in 9 states and 17 dioceses across India and abroad. It has 4 flourishing Dependent Priories in Mumbai, Trichy, Kollam and Varanasi and 1mission foundation in Hansa, Khunti, Jharkhand. Kollam Dependent Priory was raised to the status of Quasi Canonry in the year 2014. Confreres of Kollam Quasi Canonry are aspiring to move towards autonomous Canonry. We hope that this dream will be fulfilled in future. 

Marcus Champia, O. Praem

Pyrenees: after 200 years of absence, monks return to Sarrance!
Four canons of the Abbey of Mondaye are installed this Sunday, September 4 by Bishop Marc Aillet, Bishop of Bayonne, Lescar and Oloron, in Notre-Dame de Sarrance, in the Pyrenees. A new breath for this monastery of Premonstratensian tradition since the fourteenth century.
It is an almost obligatory passage between Lourdes and Saint Jean-Pied-de-Port, Pau and Spain. At three hundred meters above sea level, surrounded by Pyrenean peaks, Sarrance is the narrowest place in the valley, irrigated by the Gave d’Aspe. In the center of the village is the abbey dedicated to Notre-Dame. On a human scale, with its parquet floors and its two-storey cloister with wooden balustrades, “it feels like the inn of the three musketeers”, exclaimed the brothers while visiting the abbey for the first time.
“The Virgin Mary chose this place,” says Brother Paul-Emmanuel, future prior of the community. In this place of pilgrimage since the twelfth century, the oldest of the Atlantic Pyrenees, then recognized as such by Pope Innocent II in 1140, the Blessed Virgin watches over pilgrims and people who come to rest with her. “Under your mercy we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Welcome our prayers when we cry out to you,” they implore every night, kneeling near the niche behind the altar.
At the request of the Bishop of Bayonne, Mgr Marc Aillet, the brothers were responsible for revitalizing the pilgrimage. The reception of pilgrims is a tradition for the canons of the Premonstratensian Order. As at the Abbey of Sainte Foy de Conques – where the Jacquaires of via Podiensis have stopped for thirty years – the pilgrims of Compostela stop in Sarrance. This last step before the border allows those who want to avoid the busy path of Le Puy, to take the Via Tolosana, coming from Arles. Through their prayer open to all – liturgy of the hours and Eucharist – the brothers and sisters ensure a spiritual presence. Accompaniment and blessing before leaving on the path are also offered. The seventeenth-century hotel, listed as a historical monument, can accommodate thirty people but requires major restoration work.
The abbey of Sarrance does not only welcome the Jacquaires. Brother Dominique-Marie, future rector of the sanctuary, wishes, with the brothers, to make it a spiritual pole for the Valley of Aspe: individual and conjugal retreats preached by the brothers, place of listening, welcome for the sacrament of reconciliation… Ideas abound for priests excited by this beautiful adventure. “Something beautiful is offered to us to live and we want to adhere to it seriously,” says Brother Paul-Emmanuel. “We see it as a sign from Heaven: God is always there and we are responding to His call.”
In fact, the presence of the Premonstratensians at the abbey of Sarrance is part of the continuity. Driven out during the Revolution, they returned in 2011, in the person of Brother Pierre, succeeding the fathers of Betharram. The latter, ordained priest for the diocese of Bayonne for fifty-six years, was nevertheless called to “a life of prayer in community and in the middle of the world”. Novice at the abbey of Mondaye, he comes since to drink there six to seven times a year. Brother Pierre acknowledges having been the instrument of the registry of the Premonstratensian order in the Pyrenees. “The Premonstratensian sap taken at Mondaye Abbey took in me,” says the octogenarian priest. His prayer, associated with that of the parishioners and hospitallers, to be joined by other Premonstratensians was finally answered. “It is a pleasure to pass on my shepherd’s staff to younger brothers,” he rejoices.
In this arid place, we discover Sarrance at the turn of a road, as a welcome gift from the Virgin Mary.
Through the creation of the Association Saint Norbert in Aspe, Brother Peter was able to buy the monastery – except the church, property of the municipality – and welcome pilgrims and people wishing to regain a foothold in their difficulties. Surrounded by priests who were retired or resting, he assumed the office of parish priest of the canton of Accous, a position that will henceforth be assumed by brothers Renaud and Julien. The first will be the parish priest. Seasoned, he was for fifty villages in Normandy, around the abbey of Mondaye. “It was time to change missions,” he says. “We are going to be like pioneers, where the Premonstratensian presence has been inscribed for centuries, despite interruptions.” The parish is dedicated to Saint Norbert, founder of the Order. His statue appears in front of the gilded choir of the baroque church, as well as that of St. Augustine, whose Rule the Premonstratensians follow. Brother Julien, the youngest of the four brothers, will be the vicar. Struck by the rain that fell on the Béarn during the visits necessary for discernment, he saw in the smile of the inhabitants and parishioners of Sarrance “an inner light”. Their welcome is indeed very warm and enthusiastic.
“In this arid place, we discover Sarrance at the turn of a road, as a welcome gift from the Virgin Mary and we come to draw, from the beautiful fountain with basin of the village, a human and spiritual refreshment,” promises Brother Renaud. Our Lady of Sarrance welcomes unconditionally.

Published on October 2, 2023 by Hamborn Abbey

The Catholic order of the Premonstratensians opened its new monastery on the banks of the Elbe in Magdeburg with an ecumenical service. The guests included Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff and Bishop Gerhard Feige.

Reiner Haseloff went into raptures during his speech at the ecumenical service in St. Peter’s Church. “Magdeburg now has a new holy district,” said Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister in front of around 400 guests. The CDU politician chose these words on the occasion of the inauguration of the new Premonstratensian monastery building. The order was finally able to move into the building on the banks of the Elbe on October 2nd after around five years of construction.