Sixty Years

As seen in the Summer/Fall 2019 Norbertine Center for Spirituality program guide.

Dear Friends,

Birthdays are times of great celebration. They can also be times when we take stock of where we have been in our past, show gratitude for where we are in the present, and reflect on where life may be taking us in the future.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. St. Norbert Abbey turns 60 years old on June 16 (Shhh…don’t tell anyone!) It was on that fateful day in 1959 that Abbot Killeen and the St. Norbert Abbey Community, along with their families, friends, and supporters, joined together to dedicate this new church and to give thanks to God for the many blessings of this new abbey. Having found the facilities located on the St. Norbert College campus to be too small for a growing community, the men “picked up tent” and moved to the east side of De Pere. A new journey had begun!

Sixty years later we will celebrate and give thanks for this community and its facilities on Tuesday, October 8 in a program entitled This is an Awesome Place!  Fr. Andrew Ciferni, O. Praem., will reflect upon the Abbey Church and its dedication ritual. Music from the original dedication Mass will be performed in the beautiful Abbey Church. Food and refreshments will be plentiful. It will be a time to once again take stock of where we have been, show gratitude for where we are in the present, and reflect on where life may be taking us in the future.

The Norbertine Center for Spirituality is also experiencing a milestone birthday as it turns 40 years old. To celebrate we are instituting a new spirituality series, SpiritUs, to reflect on how the charisms and prayer forms emanating from various religious traditions can be brought into our own prayer life.

There will be plenty of opportunity for gratitude this summer and fall. Dick Bennett, noted basketball coach at UW-Green Bay and the University of Wisconsin, will facilitate the A Strong Foundation Retreat in June.

Paula D’Arcy will make a return visit in late September for Light Hidden in the Darkness, a silent retreat.

Abbey Grounds, a new Saturday morning series, will provide an opportunity for ongoing faith formation. Finally, The Faith in Real Time Series will challenge us to look at some difficult issues in our world today.

Speaking of the future, the NCS is launching a Forward to the Future Series which will challenge us to look ahead and attempt to figure out how to navigate our personal and communal future. Topnotch speakers including Carol Bruess, Ph.D., Deacon Steve Meyer, and Tom Bayer will be on hand to facilitate the discussion.

There is much to celebrate at St. Norbert Abbey and the Norbertine Center for Spirituality. Come join the celebration and have a little birthday cake while you do that! St. Norbert Abbey you don’t look a day over 29!


Tony Pichler


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