Anniversary of the Dedication of the Church of St. Norbert Abbey
Walk, saints of God, go out into the city of God; a new church was built for you where the people may adore the majesty of the Lord!
—from a 12th-century Roman pontifical for the consecration of a church
By Fr. Stephen Rossey, O. Praem.
The melodic peal of the gigantic bronze bells heralded a new day in the life of St. Norbert Abbey. On June 16, 1959, the long-awaited dedication and consecration of the “new” St. Norbert Abbey began. Two more days of festive celebrations were to follow.
The marble walls of the church were anointed with oil by Bishop Stanislaus Bona of Green Bay, each engraved cross being marked with a candle to be lit each year on the anniversary of dedication. A solemn Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated at the newly-consecrated altar, with Norbertine abbots from all around the world participating, as well as the Norbertine community, other ecclesiastics, and numerous laity.
Festive banquets for overflowing crowds of benefactors, local diocesan priests and religious communities, relatives, and friends of the order were held in the newly-blessed refectory, chapter room, and cloister walks. A special concert on the Casavant organ by Staf Nees—internationally-renowned carillon player and organist at Mechelen Cathedral in Belgium—filled the church with melodious sounds.
Finally the Norbertines of De Pere had a home where the full canonical life could be lived out.
Prayer for the Feast of the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Church of St. Norbert Abbey
O God, who year by year renew for us the day
when this your holy temple was consecrated,
hear the prayers of your people
and grant that in this place
for you there may always be pure worship
and for us, fullness of redemption.
Date(s) - Sunday June 16, 2019
St. Norbert Abbey