NCS News

St. Norbert Abbey Announces Major Renovation

June 28, 2017


Architectural illustration of renovated entrance

On July 1, 2017, a major renovation expansion will begin on the north side of St. Norbert Abbey. Given the significant increase in attendance at the Norbertine Center for Spirituality (NCS; nearly 10,000 visits annually), a reception hall and gallery, as well as an elevator for enhanced accessibility, will be added.

The project also will include two state-of-the-art conference rooms with maximum seating capacity of 180 and 150 respectively, along with a small kitchen and handicap accessible bathrooms. The approximate completion date is set for July 2018.

During the project, the Webster Ave. entrance will be closed to the public. People attending St. Norbert Abbey liturgical services, as well as NCS programs, are asked to enter and exit via the N. Broadway/Riverside Dr. entrance, and to park in the southernmost abbey parking lot.

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

Spiritual Direction

As seen in the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of Abbey Magazine (page 14)

Sr. Judy Miller, CSJ

Sr. Judy Miller, CSJ

“What is taking up space in your heart?” asks Sr. Judy Miller, CSJ, a spiritual director at the Norbertine Center for Spirituality (NCS), at the beginning of her spiritual direction sessions. Responses, like individuals, vary significantly because people are in different places and spaces on their spiritual journey. The good news is that all are welcome to grow in their relationship with God, self, and others through this ancient practice with contemporary relevance.

Spiritual direction provides the opportunity to grow in an awareness of God’s movements within oneself, explore questions of meaning and purpose, and consider issues that interfere with spiritual growth, thus helping one lead a more authentic, spiritual life.

The term “spiritual direction” can be a bit misleading—which is why it is sometimes referred to as spiritual guidance or spiritual companioning. Spiritual directors do not direct as much as they provide a safe space for individuals to share their stories and access their own inner wisdom. Likewise, spiritual directors do not give advice or solve problems, distinguishing spiritual direction from counseling or therapy.

Kathie Tilot, spiritual direction coordinator

Kathie Tilot, spiritual direction coordinator

At the NCS, spiritual direction is offered as a one-to-one experience in a private setting. Spiritual directors, men and women, both ordained and non-ordained, have received extensive training and have made a commitment to their own personal spiritual growth.

Throughout the years, the NCS has offered spiritual direction to hundreds of grateful people. While a donation is suggested, money is never meant to be an obstacle and financial assistance may be available. For many, the spiritual direction relationship has been a sacred, enriching experience.

“I am grateful beyond words for the opportunity,” shared one spiritual direction participant. “It brings alive my relationship with God and allows me to see God in all aspects of my life. What a difference this has made!”

Are you being led to something deeper? To learn more about spiritual direction contact Kathie Tilot, spiritual direction coordinator, at 920.337.4340 or

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