Inside 1016: From Broadcast to Podcast

As seen in the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of Abbey Magazine (pages 8, 10-11)

By Katrina Marshall, Gina Sanders Larsen, and Judy Turba

Ever Ancient, Ever New

From the outside looking in, St. Norbert Abbey seems timeless: the stone exterior, slate roof, 160 acres of natural and landscaped beauty, and the shining cross atop the iconic bell towerever ancient.

Yet within the walls of the abbey considerable activity is taking place: a massive renovation to meet the growing number entering the doors of the abbey and Norbertine Center for Spirituality; an unused space transformed into a state-of-the-art communication center; and a recently launched podcast—ever new.

Take a look inside 1016.


Throughout the years, WBAY-TV held the number-one audience position among the three area television stations. St. Norbert Abbey employed more than 125 people to manage the thriving Green Bay stations alone.

However, by 1974, changes within the broadcast industry were looming. According to Abbot Emeritus Jerome Tremel, O. Praem., “Competition was heating up and Norbertine values were being compromised by the ever-increasing permissiveness in programming.” Given these concerns, Abbot Tremel, chairman of the board of the Norbertine broadcasting conglomerate, with the consent of his council, made the difficult decision to sell the Norbertine Order’s commercial broadcast properties.

Consistent with the mission of St. Norbert Abbey, the monies from that sale were used to endow St. Norbert College, Prémontré High School and Abbot Pennings High School (currently Notre Dame de la Baie Academy), and future retirement and seminarian needs within the order.

Fast-forward to 2017: three creative and energetic seminarians began discussing the possibility of developing St. Norbert Abbey podcasts: digital audio recordings available on the internet that can be downloaded and listened to on a computer or mobile device. Frater Jordan Neeck, O. Praem., Frater Johnathan Turba, O. Praem., and Frater Anh Tran, O. Praem., spent months researching and strategizing along with Katrina Marshall, abbey communications coordinator, and Judy Turba, abbey external relations and media advancement director.

“I listen to podcasts often, especially when exercising, traveling, or just doing simple chores, like laundry,” explained Frater Turba. “I started to wonder if this was something we could do—develop our own podcast as Norbertines. Sometime later, Jordan told me about a podcast assignment he was finishing at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. The timing was beautiful. It felt like God clearly said, ‘Yes! This is something you can and should do!’ ”

In October 2017, the St. Norbert Abbey podcast Canons on the Run was launched. Its mission: to proclaim the Gospel, to give witness to fraternal life as Norbertines, and to educate others in the Catholic faith through modern communication.

Inspiration for the podcast title, Canons on the Run, was conceived from the idea that not only are Frater Neeck and Frater Turba Canons Regular* but also runners (marathon runners for that matter), journeying together, as are we all, running the race that God has set before us.

Frater Neeck and Frater Turba serve as the primary hosts of the podcast, delightfully and unabashedly sharing their Catholic faith, relevant topics, a bit of abbey humor, and of course, some of their conversations that occur while running together.

“Jordan and I happen to do a lot of learning, reflecting, and growing while on our runs. We hope to capture parts of that journey and share our fraternal life with others as we all strive ‘to be of one mind and one heart on the way to God.’ ”

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*Canons Regular are members of a religious order who take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; live in community under a rule (usually The Rule of St. Augustine); and share their property in common. The purpose of the life of a canon is to engage in the public ministry of the liturgy and the sacraments.
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