Norbertine Nuns of Bethlehem Priory of St. Joseph
The Norbertine Nuns of Bethlehem Priory of St. Joseph recently joined the Norbertine Community of St. Michael’s Abbey, Silverado, California. This contemplative community was established in 1997 by Abbot Eugene Hayes. The community had originally existed under the oversight of the Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno, California.
Given its special relationship with the California Norbertines, the community requested incorporation into the Norbertine Order. Approval was granted by the Holy See, the Abbot General of the Norbertine Order and the Order Definitory. On Saturday, January 29, 2011, at St. John Cathedral of Fresno, nine Norbertine nuns, who had made perpetual vows to the Bishop, made Solemn Vows to the Abbot General. As Abbot General Thomas Handgratinger, O. Praem., proclaimed in his homily: "The Order now has a new Canonry."
Abbot Eugene Hayes, O. Praem., will oversee the contemplative community as “Pater Abbas” (Father Abbot).