Norbertine Center for Spirituality

Meet the NCS Staff

Exciting times, reorganization, at the Norbertine Center for Spirituality (NCS)

Tony Pichler

Tony Pichler

Tony Pichler


“I first served on the NCS Advisory Board. After a meeting, one day, Judy Turba and I discussed the possibility of a co-directorship for the center. I felt if this was God’s plan for me, it would all fall into place. The process was as smooth as glass, and two years later, I could not be happier. I absolutely love the variety of what we offer at the center. From book discussions to Bible studies to more involved retreats—I love it all.”

More About Tony:

He has co-authored eight books: a service manual for youth ministry leaders, three Advent journals for teens, three Lenten journals for teens, and a series of binders on discipline in a religious education curriculum. Another book, a confirmation journal for teens, is currently at the publisher. He also loves to watch and play sports, from golfing and kayaking to biking and tennis.

Contact information »

Kathie Tilot

Kathie Tilot

Kathie Tilot

Spiritual Direction and Public Relations Coordinator

“The first time I visited the NCS, I was overcome by the peacefulness and the rhythm of life here; by the classes that stretched me and helped me grow; and by the natural setting—right in the heart of town. I graduated from St. Norbert College and the Norbertine community played an important role in my life. As my ministry evolved to include retreats and spiritual direction, the NCS seemed to be a perfect fit.”

More About Kathie:

She loves watching people be empowered, whether it is sharing their sacred stories, learning a new spiritual practice, or finding rest under the shade of the trees. “Every day, as I drive up the long driveway, I thank God for the opportunity to serve here.”

Contact information »

Ann Herlache

Ann Herlache

Ann Herlache

Program Coordinator

“My biggest joy in being a part of the NCS is all the good that we aim to bring into people’s lives. The center truly strives to be an oasis for everyone who enters its doors.”

More About Ann:

Ann worked in a manufacturing plant for seven years before she began her work at the NCS. She loves to garden and see the results of her planning and cultivating, ultimately using her herbs and vegetables when she cooks for her family.

Contact information »

Paula Rieder

Paula Rieder

Paula Rieder

Hospitality Coordinator, Spiritual Director

“The first time I visited the NCS, I was overwhelmed with the kindness, consideration, and authenticity of the people. I was first introduced to the NCS while I was taking classes through the Emmaus Program at the Diocese of Green Bay. I later experienced prayer with the community and felt as if this was a beautiful place for my spirit to develop.”

More About Paula:

Paula has co-authored a book entitled Confirmed in the Joy of the Spirit published by 23rd Publications. She was the recipient of the Wisconsin Heroes Award, presented by Tonette Walker, in 2017. She was the runner-up for the Brown County Volunteer Award in 2017.

Contact information »

Life’s Journey

As seen in the Summer/Fall 2017 Norbertine Center for Spirituality program guide

Dear Friends,

BridgeRemember the Nissan® car commercials several years ago? The company’s slogan was: “Life is a journey, enjoy the ride!” Isn’t that true? Life truly is a journey with many ups and downs, twists and turns. Life here at the Norbertine Center for Spirituality is much the same way. As most of you know, we are continuing a journey that began in 1979 with the creation of the then-Ministry and Life Center. And, like it has in other eras, the center is undergoing a shift in leadership and a makeover in its physical structure.

  • Judy Turba has recently been named director of external relations and media advancement for St. Norbert Abbey, in which she is involved with strategic abbey initiatives, along with public relations, communications, and vocations. She continues her role as executive editor of Abbey Magazine. The center is grateful beyond words for the countless lives that she has touched throughout this past decade under her leadership.
  • With this transition of Judy has come other shifts in our center leadership structure. I have assumed full directorship of the center, having shared the role with Judy for the past two years as co-directors.
  • Kathie Tilot, having completed her spiritual direction formation program at Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wisconsin, will serve as spiritual direction coordinator, as well as public relations coordinator for the center.
  • Ann Herlache has taken on the role of program coordinator, overseeing the production of the program guide, as well as the various and numerous programs and retreats that we host here at the center.
  • Sr. Lisa Alexander, SSJ-TOSF, has been hired as the new administrative assistant. Sr. Lisa is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis (I challenge you to say that fast three times!) based in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She has a background in healthcare administration work, as well as leadership with her community. We are delighted to have her on board!
  • Finally, Lori McKeough continues in her role as weekend assistant, providing hospitality for the retreatants who grace this place Friday through Sunday.

Not only does this journey include a bridge from our past to the future as described by our staff transitions, the construction of an elevator and a large meeting room to provide for our growing needs will present other “ups and downs.” We are thrilled that handicapped accessibility will be a reality in the near future! But in the meantime, please pardon the dust on this long and winding road of construction.

Life truly is a journey. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

Tony Pichler

Prayer and Contemplation

As seen in the Fall/Winter 2016 issue of Abbey Magazine (pages 18-19)

The Norbertine Center for Spirituality and St. Norbert Abbey offer various ways that people can reflect upon God in their lives—through intentional prayer services and contemplative practices.

Candlelight Vigils

Taizé Prayer CandlesAnother senseless tragedy. More sorrow and anguish in the world and in our hearts.

For months the staff of the Norbertine Center for Spirituality (NCS) had grappled with the challenging question, “What in the world can we offer people in times of great tragedy and inconsolable grief?”

On June 15, the St. Norbert Abbey Church was opened to those struggling with and wanting to pray for the victims (and their families and friends) of the Orlando shooting—one of the largest massacres in the history of the United States. Abbot Gary Neville, O. Praem., welcomed the participants to an hour-long service filled with prayer, rich silence, candles, and music (performed by flutist Keith McGillivray and the Abbey Singers of St. Norbert College). Soft rain and gentle thunder heard throughout the service seemed to be nature’s way of entering into prayer. Whatever was taking place in the souls of the participants, the abbey provided a means for them to encounter God amid tragedy—together, in prayer.

“When a tragedy occurs, the abbey should be one of the first places where people come,” shared Fr. James Baraniak, O. Praem. “This is what an abbey is called to do—provide a place of refuge in times of great pain.”

St. Norbert Abbey and the NCS continue to find ways to open the doors of the abbey church after tragedies occur: the monthly Taizé service held on July 17 honored the slain Dallas police officers as well as all who have been touched by violence.

Note: Special prayer services will be posted online, sent to those subscribing to e-publicity through the NCS, and are often acknowledged in the media.

Contemplative Practices

Given the noise and excessive activity within this world of ours, silence—real silence—can be difficult to find. We are usually plugged into something, be it our computers, smart phones, tablets, or TVs. However, it is often the silence and serenity for which people express their gratitude upon entering the NCS and St. Norbert Abbey, which host numerous prayer spaces and offer these contemplative practices.

Prayerful Environments

Prayer spaces abound within the Norbertine Center for Spirituality and St. Norbert Abbey. Men and women of all ages stop in, sometimes only for a few minutes, to spend time in prayer. Click here for more information. Please stop in the NCS main office and you will be directed to a prayer space that meets your needs.

Centering Prayer

Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer which helps us open our minds and hearts to God beyond thoughts, words, and emotions. It is a way of consenting to God’s presence and action within. While Centering Prayer does not replace other kinds of prayer, it can cast a new light and depth of meaning on them. Weekly Centering Prayer, facilitated by Kathie Tilot, is held every Tuesday morning in the Killeen Room at 7:10 a.m. All are welcome.


On the north side of the NCS is a lawn labyrinth, based on the design within the floor of Chartres Cathedral (AD 1220). The labyrinth is an ancient symbol of life’s journey—a path of prayer. As a tool of integration between mind and body, it can be experienced as a personal pilgrimage, helping one find new insights and inner peace. Open during daylight hours, directions can be found inside the entryway of the NCS.

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest