Day 5: The day began with Lauds (morning prayer) beautifully chanted. The confréres at the Abbey in Mondaye have amazing voices! After Lauds, some breakfast, then the day began with a presentation by F. Dominique-Marie Dauzet,a historian of our order. After a wonderful lunch, we proceeded with another presentation by F. Dominique-Marie Dauzet, followed by a few more presentations of the communities learning of their apostolates and community life. Being quite the character, Dominique-Marie began his presentation with a spirituality of the order, showing us images of Norbertine beer (a few Abbey’s at one point would brew their own beer), drawing laughter from around the room! As we begin to close our day, we prepare for a trip tomorrow morning to the ruins of the first Norbertine monastery in the valley of Premontre, established by St. Norbert himself! We continue to keep you all in prayer.
Day 6: pending the day at Prémontre
Day 7: After our excursion in Prémontré, we had lodged in Soisson for the night. So, this morning, we started off the day with the important part of our daily rhythm of our life, morning prayer and breakfast. Then we were off to our first destination, which is in Laon. We visited the Abbey of St. Martin of Laon. This being one of the places that St. Bartholomew had introduced to St. Norbert but was rejected by the community initially but later converted to the Norbertine way of life. After the tour, Mass was celebrated by our fellow international Norbertine brothers and had a short picnic in the garden before moving to our next destination, cathedral of Laon. Due to timing, we hadn’t the time to really take in the immense beauty of the cathedral itself. All the work that had been put in to make it on of the great places in Laon to pray and one of the place near where there were some Norbertine presence only a short distance away. So we departed by bus recited daytime prayer on our last trip to Lisieux. Our last trip was also short but we did get to take in at least some time to admire the architecture of the basilica dedicated to St. Therésè. We had gone down to the crypt of the basilica where we had ended our tour with vespers and followed by dinner (aka picnic no. 2). So we our day heading back to Mondaye for a restful night before beginning a new day of adventures.