Vocation Profile - Norbertine Fathers, St. Michael's Abbey
Norbertine Fathers, St. Michael's Abbey
Fresno, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Orange, CA; San Bernardino, CA; San Diego, CA
St. Norbert founded the Order in 1121 in response to the needs of his time with a rule of life that would combine the contemplative life of the monk with the active apostolate of the parish priest. Thus, the Order with its emphasis in living out the apostolic and community life is said to have five ends or purposes. The first is prayer: every priest is bound to offer worship to Almighty God above all in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and by chanting the Divine Office. The second end is the salvation of souls. At St. Michael's priests are engaged primarily in the high school apostolate and parish work, retreats, spiritual direction and lecturing. Habitual penance is the third end of the Order of St. Norbert, who himself practiced severe and lifelong penances. St. Norbert's frequent and fervent celebration of the Holy Mass made devotion to the Holy Eucharist a special end of the Order. Lastly, devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom are dedicated most of the Abbey churches and who gave the white habit to St. Norbert as a sign of her protection and favor, is of characteristic importance to Norbertines. Our priestly community at St. Michael's continues to respond to the needs of our times by striving for holiness in the spirit of St. Norbert, faithfully adhering to the Magisterium and supporting the Pope's renewal of religious life.
Sound mental and physical health; average or above average intelligence; between the ages of 18-25 or up to 29, with a college degree; debt free; good judgment and common sense.
Postulancy: During this initial four-month period, the postulants begin to adjust to abbey life by a spiritual and academic formation that exposes them to the liturgical life of the abbey and the lifestyle of a consecrated religious. Novitiate, marked by vestition in the white habit, focuses attention on spiritual formation, union with God and with the brethren through a common life of prayer, deep study of Catholic doctrine and liturgy, work and recreation. The specific identity, charism and history of canonical life, the Order and the Abbey are also studied with a view to living out their vocation in fidelity to a rich patrimony and spiritual heritage. Juniorate begins with temporary profession of vows wherein seminarians begin their two-year course of studies in Thomistic philosophy and the liberal arts. Theological studies are done in Rome where juniors reside at the Norbertine generalate while attending classes at one of the pontifical universities. Canon Regular: After temporary profession, juniors make their solemn profession that incorporates them into full membership in the Canonry, thus becoming a Canon Regular irrevocably vowing the religious life according to the Rule of St. Augustine. After solemn profession, juniors are ordained to the diaconate usually for a year before being ordained a priest.