Why Frater Jordan Neeck, O. Praem., Chose Norbertine Life

By Frater Jordan Neeck, O. Praem.

Who are these men in white? What is a Norbertine?

I never met a Norbertine until I attended St. Norbert College (SNC). Growing up in the Diocese of Superior I only was familiar with diocesan priests who serve in parishes. While living on the SNC campus, I always was impressed and amazed by the fraternity I witnessed among Norbertines, expressed in their ministry as teachers, pastors, and administrators, as well as their commitment to community life.

Docere verbo et exemplo (teaching by word and example).

Relationship is what attracted me to Norbertine life. On campus I saw how the Norbertines loved one another. They truly acted like brothers toward one another, and like any good brotherhood, there were serious moments of prayer and conversation, and there were humorous moments in which jokes and laughter were shared.

Witnessing this brotherhood is what drew me to Norbertine life.

Frater Jordan Neeck, O. Praem.
Frater Jordan Neeck, O. Praem.

After I joined the community, I realized that sometimes our worst moments can be our greatest blessings. I recall having a fight with a brother, holding resentment toward him. After a few days passed, my brother called me out, stating, “I recognize there has been a distance between us. I’m sorry for anything I have done to offend you, but our friendship and our fraternity is too important to allow anything to come between us.” Simple words, yet profound.

These words, shared by my brother, taught me a great lesson, expressed in our ideal docere verbo et exemplo (teaching by word and example). This lesson remains with me to this day and I recall whenever I am frustrated with another, that relationships are more important than any one situation or conversation.

Norbertine life is about teaching and learning. It helps us in our journey towards holiness.

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