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Numerous statues line the world-famous Charles Bridge in Prague, including St. Norbert (center), St. Wenceslas (“Good King Wenceslas”), and St. Sigismund (Martyr and Duke of Burgundy). Standing below are St. Norbert Abbey’s Norbertine Associate representatives (left to right): Mike Hermans, Marlene Mapes, Sue Pankratz, and Mike Pankratz.

International Meeting Fosters Associate Ties

Numerous statues line the world-famous Charles Bridge in Prague, including St. Norbert (center), St. Wenceslas (“Good King Wenceslas”), and St. Sigismund (Martyr and Duke of Burgundy). Standing below are St. Norbert Abbey’s Norbertine Associate representatives (left to right): Mike Hermans, Marlene Mapes, Sue Pankratz, and Mike Pankratz.

Numerous statues line the world-famous Charles Bridge in Prague, including St. Norbert (center), St. Wenceslas (“Good King Wenceslas”), and St. Sigismund (Martyr and Duke of Burgundy). Standing below are St. Norbert Abbey’s Norbertine Associate representatives (left to right): Mike Hermans, Marlene Mapes, Sue Pankratz, and Mike Pankratz.

In July 2015, four Norbertine Associates from St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere, Wisconsin, joined nearly 50 other Norbertine Associates at the third Norbertine Associate international meeting held at Teplá Abbey in the Czech Republic. The focus of the conference was to learn about Norbertine history and present-day efforts to follow St. Norbert’s work to share Christ’s message with the world.

In a setting filled with rich Norbertine history, they covered topics that included Conversion (Fr. Ambrose Samal, O. Praem., Strahov Abbey, Prague), the Year of Consecrated Life (Abbot General Thomas Handgrätinger, O. Praem.), and Evangelization – Pope Francis’ letter, “The Joy of the Gospel” (Fr. Joseph Serano, O. Praem., Daylesford Abbey, Pennsylvania).

There was plenty of time to contemplate the messages of these presentations. Many insights were gained, as well as the opportunity to pray with and learn from fellow associates from across North America and Europe. While their goals may be the same, the needs of different areas of the world demand different approaches. St. Norbert Abbey’s Norbertine Associates returned home with new ideas and new enthusiasm for assisting their own Norbertine community.

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