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Cuccia


Fr. Salvatore Cuccia, O. Praem.

Fr. Cuccia celebrated the 50th anniversary of his priesthood ordination on June 6, 2016. In the presence of Norbertine confreres, friends, and family, he shared the following reflection at that night’s celebratory dinner.

“Turn ‘Right’ ”

Fr. Salvatore Cuccia, O. Praem.

Fr. Salvatore Cuccia, O. Praem.

Throughout the past 50 years I have always had the love and support of my family and friends, the support and encouragement of members of the community. As I was reflecting on this anniversary on the recent Norbertine Heritage Tour, the image of two roads came to mind: the road I was on, and God’s intersecting road of events and circumstances, which called me to turn “right.” It’s God’s road so it has to be a “right” turn.

Being the only son of a Sicilian family, I think my destiny was to carry on the family name. At one point I thought of becoming a mortician … I even knew the pose. I was from a Norbertine parish but had little knowledge about the order until my junior year when I met some novices and those studying at UW–Madison. That was the first “right” turn to De Pere.

The second came in 1963. Daylesford was going to become independent. Most of the members were Italian. Not many in Green Bay. During my discernment about joining the new abbey, I met a woman after Mass one Sunday who said, “You’re Italian so you must be from Philadelphia.” I told her I was from Madison. She said, “That’s strange, your kind usually are.” Okay, Lord. So I joined the new foundation.

After ordination I went to Marquette to finish studies for my Master’s degree. While there I lived at Misericordia Hospital and was chaplain at their home for unwed mothers. My teaching assignment came not to South Philadelphia, but the “right” turn took me to Claymont, Deleware, and Archmere Academy.

After 20 years the “right” turn took me to Rome and our Generalate, which led to a semester sabbatical at Louvain, Belgium, and the opportunity to visit a number of our European abbeys.

Fr. Salvatore Cuccia, O. Praem., on June 6, 2016, the Solemnity of St. Norbert.

Fr. Salvatore Cuccia, O. Praem., on June 6, 2016, the Solemnity of St. Norbert.

After many long-distance discussions with my abbot, I returned to Daylesford Abbey as director of liturgy. This was followed by two years in Washington, D.C., as master of professed.

The next “right” turn took me north to Baltimore and nine years as the associate pastor. When I would return to Wisconsin to visit my family, I would come here [to St. Norbert Abbey] for a visit. One Norbertine would always ask if I was here for a transitus—a transfer to St. Norbert Abbey. In 2000 I was here for a visit, saw him, and told him I was here for a transitus.

The “right” turn came in May of 2000 when I returned to De Pere, spent six weeks covering the parish in Albuquerque, then returned as the associate pastor of St. Norbert College (SNC) Parish and a member of the campus ministry team. For 10 years I was involved in an SNC men’s service trip to a homeless shelter in Philadelphia, which was like a roundabout with many of the roads coming together.

After 15 years I retired from the parish. Twenty-four years as associate pastor; there should be an award for probably the longest-serving associate in the history of the Church!

At the present time I serve as house superior and sub-prior. I am involved in planning the Norbertine Heritage Tours contacting the Norbertine houses. I work with Alumni and Parent Relations at the college. Only God knows when the next “right” turn will come.

Read about the good and faithful friendship between Norbertines Fr. Colavechio, Fr. Stephen Rossey, O. Praem., Fr. Savlatore Cuccia, O. Praem., and Fr. Brian Prunty, O. Praem., in “A Lifetime Friendship” by Fr. Stephen Rossey, O. Praem., in the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of Abbey Magazine (pages 4-6).

June 2016 Norbertine Celebrations at St. Norbert Abbey

May 18, 2016

O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

—Psalm 34:3
Statue of St. Norbert of Xanten (1080-1134) | St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin | Sculptor: Paul T. Granlund

Statue of St. Norbert of Xanten (1080-1134) | St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin | Sculptor: Paul T. Granlund

On Saturday, June 4, 2016, Rev. Frater Bradley R. Vanden Branden, O. Praem., will be ordained to the priesthood. The Mass of Ordination will be celebrated by Most Rev. David L. Ricken, DD, JCL, Bishop of Green Bay, at 10 a.m. in the church of St. Norbert Abbey.

On Monday, June 6, 2016, the Solemnity of St. Norbert, Rt. Rev. Gary J. Neville, O. Praem., abbot of St. Norbert Abbey, will preside at Mass at 4 p.m. in the church of St. Norbert Abbey. This sacred celebration also honors the 50th priesthood ordination anniversary of Rev. Salvatore H. Cuccia, O. Praem.

On Sunday, June 12, 2016, the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Rev. Vanden Branden will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at 3 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, De Pere.

View the Mass of Thanksgiving homily of Fr. Vanden Branden »


In the News

Celebrations for Norbertine priests at St. Norbert Abbey
June 2, 2016
The Green Bay Press-Gazette


June 4, 2016 — Mass of Priesthood Ordination of Fr. Bradley Vanden Branden, O. Praem.

from St. Norbert Abbey on Vimeo


June 6, 2016 — Solemnity of St. Norbert

Archbishop and Founder of the Canons Regular of Prémontré
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Ordination of Fr. Salvatore Cuccia, O. Praem.


Rev. Frater Bradley Robert Vanden Branden, O. Praem.

Ordination to the Priesthood

… as I knelt before the bishop, the only thing I was aware of … was my heartbeat.
—Fr. Bradley Vanden Branden, O. Praem.
Deacon Bradley Vanden Branden, O. Praem.

Deacon Bradley Vanden Branden, O. Praem.

Deacon Vanden Branden, 29, is the son of Thomas and Joan (Van Schyndel) Vanden Branden of De Pere, where his home parish is Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.

Deacon Vanden Branden was vested in the white Norbertine habit in August 2010, professed Simple Vows in August 2012, and professed Solemn Vows in August 2015, when he also was ordained to the diaconate. He will be ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 2016.

In 2009 Deacon Vanden Branden graduated from St. Norbert College, De Pere, with a degree in music education. In May 2016 he graduated from Catholic Theological Union (CTU), Chicago, receiving a master’s degree in divinity. He is currently on track to receive an M.A. in theology (liturgy) from CTU in May 2017.

A gifted musician and cantor, Deacon Vanden Branden most recently served as deacon at St. Ann Catholic Parish in Lansing, Illinois.

Read the full reflection by Fr. Vanden Branden »


Rev. Salvatore Henry Cuccia, O. Praem.

50th Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood

Only God knows when the next ‘right’ turn will come.

—Fr. Salvatore Cuccia, O. Praem.
Fr. Salvatore Cuccia, O. Praem.

Fr. Salvatore Cuccia, O. Praem.

Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Fr. Cuccia graduated from St. Norbert College with a B.A. in philosophy in 1963. He was ordained to the priesthood on September 1, 1966.

Following ordination, Fr. Cuccia attended Marquette University, Milwaukee, and received an M.A. in theology in 1967. While attending Marquette, he served as chaplain at Misericordia Hospital.

From 1967 until 1986 he served in various capacities at Archmere Academy and Immaculate Conception Priory in Claymont, Deleware. The following year, Fr. Cuccia was director of liturgy at the Norbertine Generalate in Rome, and in 1987 he attended the sabbatical program at Katholic University, Leuven, Belgium. From 1987 to 1991, he served in various ministries at Daylesford Abbey in Paoli, Pennsylvania. From 1991 to 2000, Fr. Cuccia served as parochial vicar of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Baltimore.

In 2000 he returned to the Midwest and became parochial vicar of St. Norbert College Parish at Old St. Joseph Church in De Pere, as well as a member of the college’s campus ministry staff. For 10 years he participated in the SNC TRIPS (Turning Responsibility into Powerful Service) program on an all-men’s service trip to Our Brothers’ Place, a shelter for homeless men in Philadelphia.

Fr. Cuccia currently is a member of St. Norbert College’s alumni board, while retaining his current ministry at St. Norbert Abbey as house superior/sub-prior.

Read the full reflection by Fr. Cuccia »

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