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Inside 1016


Canon Bruce Memorial Organ Concert: Daniel Schwandt

Saturday May 18 at 2:00pm 

Daniel Schwandt is a doctoral student in organ performance at the University of Notre Dame and Music Associate at Gloria Dei, South Bend, IN.  Formerly he served as Cantor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Chicago, Cantor to the Seminary Community at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and Cantor of Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park (Chicago). He holds degrees in organ and church music from St. Olaf College and the University of Notre Dame. Daniel’s compositions are published through Augsburg Fortress and MorningStar Music, and  he is active as a recitalist, hymn festival leader, and workshop presenter.

Inside 1016: From Broadcast to Podcast

As seen in the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of Abbey Magazine (pages 8, 10-11)

By Katrina Marshall, Gina Sanders Larsen, and Judy Turba

Ever Ancient, Ever New

From the outside looking in, St. Norbert Abbey seems timeless: the stone exterior, slate roof, 160 acres of natural and landscaped beauty, and the shining cross atop the iconic bell towerever ancient.

Yet within the walls of the abbey considerable activity is taking place: a massive renovation to meet the growing number entering the doors of the abbey and Norbertine Center for Spirituality; an unused space transformed into a state-of-the-art communication center; and a recently launched podcast—ever new.

Take a look inside 1016.


Throughout the years, WBAY-TV held the number-one audience position among the three area television stations. St. Norbert Abbey employed more than 125 people to manage the thriving Green Bay stations alone.

However, by 1974, changes within the broadcast industry were looming. According to Abbot Emeritus Jerome Tremel, O. Praem., “Competition was heating up and Norbertine values were being compromised by the ever-increasing permissiveness in programming.” Given these concerns, Abbot Tremel, chairman of the board of the Norbertine broadcasting conglomerate, with the consent of his council, made the difficult decision to sell the Norbertine Order’s commercial broadcast properties.

Consistent with the mission of St. Norbert Abbey, the monies from that sale were used to endow St. Norbert College, Prémontré High School and Abbot Pennings High School (currently Notre Dame de la Baie Academy), and future retirement and seminarian needs within the order.

Fast-forward to 2017: three creative and energetic seminarians began discussing the possibility of developing St. Norbert Abbey podcasts: digital audio recordings available on the internet that can be downloaded and listened to on a computer or mobile device. Frater Jordan Neeck, O. Praem., Frater Johnathan Turba, O. Praem., and Frater Anh Tran, O. Praem., spent months researching and strategizing along with Katrina Marshall, abbey communications coordinator, and Judy Turba, abbey external relations and media advancement director.

“I listen to podcasts often, especially when exercising, traveling, or just doing simple chores, like laundry,” explained Frater Turba. “I started to wonder if this was something we could do—develop our own podcast as Norbertines. Sometime later, Jordan told me about a podcast assignment he was finishing at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. The timing was beautiful. It felt like God clearly said, ‘Yes! This is something you can and should do!’ ”

In October 2017, the St. Norbert Abbey podcast Canons on the Run was launched. Its mission: to proclaim the Gospel, to give witness to fraternal life as Norbertines, and to educate others in the Catholic faith through modern communication.

Inspiration for the podcast title, Canons on the Run, was conceived from the idea that not only are Frater Neeck and Frater Turba Canons Regular* but also runners (marathon runners for that matter), journeying together, as are we all, running the race that God has set before us.

Frater Neeck and Frater Turba serve as the primary hosts of the podcast, delightfully and unabashedly sharing their Catholic faith, relevant topics, a bit of abbey humor, and of course, some of their conversations that occur while running together.

“Jordan and I happen to do a lot of learning, reflecting, and growing while on our runs. We hope to capture parts of that journey and share our fraternal life with others as we all strive ‘to be of one mind and one heart on the way to God.’ ”

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  • Eyes fixed on Jesus
    By Jenny Snarski
    February 9, 2018
    Superior Catholic Herald
    Diocese of Superior

*Canons Regular are members of a religious order who take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; live in community under a rule (usually The Rule of St. Augustine); and share their property in common. The primary purpose of the life of a canon is to engage in the public ministry of the liturgy and the sacraments.

Heart & Soul: Norbertines and St. Norbert College Share Charisms, Values

As seen in the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of Abbey Magazine (pages 4-5)

By Gina Sanders Larsen and Judy Turba

(L-R) Frater Anh Tran, O. Praem. (front), Frater Jordan Neeck, O. Praem., President Brian Bruess, Abbot Gary Neville, O. Praem., Fr. James Herring, O. Praem. (standing), Fr. Tim Shillcox, O. Praem.

(L-R) Frater Anh Tran, O. Praem. (front), Frater Jordan Neeck, O. Praem., President Brian Bruess, Abbot Gary Neville, O. Praem., Fr. James Herring, O. Praem. (standing), Fr. Tim Shillcox, O. Praem.

They exist on opposite sides of the Fox River in De Pere, Wisconsin, but the unwavering bond between the Norbertines of St. Norbert Abbey and St. Norbert College is strong and unambiguous. A new college president, a re-energized campus parish, and an innovative first-year student experience illustrate the institutions’ steadfast connection, “to be of one mind and one heart on the way to God” (The Rule of St. Augustine).

With a warm and gracious greeting, Fr. James Baraniak, O. Praem., and Judy Turba met with Brian Bruess, recently named president of St. Norbert College (SNC), after his first month in office. During their time together, this most impressive 1990 SNC graduate shared thoughts about his journey, his vision for the college, and its connection to the Norbertine community, as well as what it means to come home.

Being an alum, I believe the stakes are higher for me as I serve in this role as president because St. Norbert College is not only a place I love but also a place that formed me.

—Brian Bruess

Brian Bruess, Ph.D., 50, eighth president of St. Norbert College, is only the second alumnus ever to serve in this role; Fr. Dennis Burke, O. Praem., was the first, and the similarities are striking. “Fr. Burke also followed an exceptional leader, Abbot (Bernard) Pennings, the founder of St. Norbert College,” said Bruess. “I, too, am following an outstanding and tremendously successful leader, Tom (Thomas) Kunkel. Needless to say, their extraordinary leadership is both intimidating and inspiring.” In fact, the year Bruess was born, Fr. Burke was retiring. Bruess remembers vividly from his years at the college a painting of Fr. Burke walking across the campus with then-presidential candidate John F. Kennedy. “The image has stayed with me all of these years.”

Bruess’ excitement is palpable and contagious. He realizes he is inheriting the helm of one of the top-ranked Catholic liberal arts colleges in the country. “Being an alum, I believe the stakes are higher for me because St. Norbert College is not only a place I love but also a place that formed me. Here I began to contemplate a career in higher education through the encouragement of faculty and administrators. I have had opportunities to serve elsewhere, but I honestly feel called here. It’s my vocation.”

Bruess shared his deep commitment to the college’s mission: “St. Norbert College, a Catholic liberal arts college embracing the Norbertine ideal of communio, provides an educational environment that fosters intellectual, spiritual, and personal development.” The mission statement emphatically stresses the tripartite—Catholic, Norbertine, liberal arts—all of which are inseparable and equally important. “This is the only Norbertine college in the world, and society has never needed St. Norbert College graduates more than now. The charism here is rich and powerful, distinctive and transformational.” Through regular meetings with the abbot and members of the abbot’s council, he will envision with the Norbertine community how best to sustain this mission. “I feel significantly responsible to represent Norbertine values and ensure that these values are woven within all aspects of our education.”

Given Bruess’ experience in higher education, his highly regarded expertise, commitment to Norbertine values, and passion for his alma mater—the sky is the limit. He is ready to serve.

Meet Brian Bruess, SNC College President and Alumnus

President Brian Bruess

President Brian Bruess

President Brian Bruess received bachelor of arts degrees in sociology and psychology from St. Norbert College with master’s and doctoral degrees from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio. He most recently served at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, as executive vice president and chief operating officer. During his 21-year tenure there, he also was involved with enrollment management, finance, student affairs, and information technology. Bruess and his wife, Carol, also a 1990 graduate of St. Norbert College and most recently professor of communication and journalism at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, have two children: Gracie, a high school senior, and Tony, a Stanford University senior.

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