Rev. Roman Vanasse, O. Praem.
Why I am happy to be a Norbertine:
When I was vested as a novice in 1954, I was 23 years old and already had some life experience in the military and working at several jobs, as well as two years of college. I thought that Vestition day marked the end of my travels and that I would spend the rest of my life on the banks of the Fox River, teaching and perhaps writing.
Now, some 56 years later, I look back on a life full of diverse kinds of work as a teacher and administrator, which eventually allowed me to travel to 87 different countries and acquire a working knowledge of several languages. In between, I served as Novice Master, House Superior (in Chicago), a member of the Abbot’s Council under four different Abbots and prelate/administrator in India and Australia.
Some of those jobs were stressful. Some were lonely and involved living under primitive physical conditions for long periods of time. All of them were challenging and rewarding in different ways. All were undertaken at the direction of, or with the permission and encouragement of, my religious superiors.
One of the most important factors that allowed me to take on these responsibilities with a clear conscience and a heart full of confidence was the sure knowledge that I could always count on the support of my community. No matter where I was or what I did, I was secure in the knowledge that a place awaited me where I would be greeted by my brothers with a sincere, “Welcome home!” More than anything else, it is this sense of family and belonging that has made me happy to be a Norbertine. Every day I thank the Lord for the blessings received through my community.