LaPacz


Lenten Reading Suggestions

Lenten Reading

Looking for inspiring books that will enhance your Lenten journey? We asked a few prolific readers within the Norbertine community for suggestions. Below are their recommended titles.

Br. Steve Herro, O. Praem.

Br. Steve Herro, O. Praem.

Fr. Matthew Dougherty, O. Praem.

Fr. Matthew Dougherty, O. Praem.

Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection

By Pope Benedict XVI

Recommended by: Fr. Matthew Dougherty, O. Praem., and Br. Steve Herro, O. Praem.

Pope Benedict takes his readers through the familiar stories surrounding our Lord’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection while adding unique reflections and insights earned from a lifetime of study, prayer, and reflection. This book not only makes you rethink what you know of Jesus of Nazareth but also fall in love with him again.

Mysterium Paschale: The Mystery of Easter

By Hans Urs von Balthasar

Recommended by: Fr. Matthew Dougherty, O. Praem.

Named a cardinal of the Church by Pope (Saint) John Paul II shortly before he died, Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988) was one of the great theologians of the post-Vatican II Church. Mysterium Paschale is one of Balthasar’s most influential works, especially for its unique take on Christ’s decent into hell. At times, this work can be a bit jargon-filled and difficult to read, but for those comfortable with theological language, it is a profound and worthy book.

Fr. Michael Weber, O. Praem.

Fr. Michael Weber, O. Praem.

Benedictus: Day by Day with Pope Benedict XVI

By Pope Benedict XVI

Recommended by: Fr. Michael Weber, O. Praem.

I’ve used Pope Benedict’s devotional throughout the last couple of years for reflection. Although these are daily meditations throughout the year, they are particularly powerful, well written short reflections on Scripture passages—including Lenten messages.

Abbot Emeritus Jerome Tremel, O. Praem.

Abbot Emeritus Jerome Tremel, O. Praem.

The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully

By Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B.

Recommended by: Abbot Emeritus Jerome Tremel, O. Praem.

Grace and wisdom flow from some 40 short essays. A rich source of reflection for anyone approaching or experiencing the elder years.

Fr. James Herring, O. Praem.

Fr. James Herring, O. Praem.

i am through you so i

By Brother David Steindl-Rast

Recommended by: Fr. James Herring, O. Praem.

Brother David, one of the most significant spiritual teachers and international speakers of our era, tells his incomparable rich story spanning the nine decades of his life.

Brother David and his TED Talk also can be found online.

Written for Our Instruction: Theological and Spiritual Riches in Romans

By Thomas D. Stegman, SJ

Recommended by: Fr. James Herring, O. Praem.

This book sets forth and makes accessible an under-appreciated aspect of St. Paul’s theology on the life of the Spirit. In his letters, Paul often reminds his readers/hearers about the gift of the Spirit they have already received.

Everything Ablaze: Meditating on the Mystical Vision of Teilhard de Chardin

By David Richo

Recommended by: Fr. James Herring, O. Praem.

Richo describes our calling to discover the sacred heart of the universe, grow into planetary consciousness, and participate in the great work ahead of us. A rich resource for meditating.

—Ursula King
Fr. Michael Brennan, O. Praem.

Fr. Michael Brennan, O. Praem.

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

By Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, with Douglas Abrams

Recommended by: Fr. Michael Brennan, O. Praem.

The author invites these two spiritual leaders and close friends to share their experiences of deep and abiding joy, most particularly in the face of profound suffering. This book has both confirmed and challenged my understanding of hope, joy, and suffering amidst the blessedness and brokenness of our shared humanity.

The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your TransformationThe Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation

By Richard Rohr with Mike Morrell

Recommended by: Fr. Michael Brennan, O. Praem.

Fr. Richard Rohr invites us to enter into one of the central tenets and mysteries of Christianity: our God is relationship, our God is community. Made in this image and likeness, we are invited to be transformed by our God, who constantly calls us into relationship. I’ve had this book on my shelf since late last summer; perhaps Lent will be the perfect time to jump in.

Between the Pages Book Discussion

Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 10-11 a.m.

Tony Pichler, director of the Norbertine Center for Spirituality at St. Norbert Abbey, is facilitating a book discussion on The Divine Dance. Details and registration »


Frater Johnathan Turba, O. Praem.

Frater Johnathan Turba, O. Praem.

iBreviary—Office of Readings

Recommended by: Frater Johnathan Turba, O. Praem.

When I start my day reading the Office of Readings, my heart is much more open to God’s presence throughout the day. Simply download the iBreviary app, click on “Breviary” and then select “Office of Readings.”

Hope for the Flowers

By Trina Paulus

Recommended by: Frater Johnathan Turba, O. Praem.

This simple book tells a beautiful allegory of letting go of our comforts in life and finding the courage to move through death to a life greater than anything we could have imagined. I find this book so insightful in reflecting on my own struggles, identifying what comforts I am holding on to that I may need to let go of, and visiting anew the need to give my life completely to God.

Fr. Stephen Rossey, O. Praem.

Fr. Stephen Rossey, O. Praem.

The Way of Gratitude: Readings for a Joyful Life

Editors: Michael Leach, James Keane, Doris Goodnough

Recommended by: Fr. Stephen Rossey, O. Praem.

The Way of Gratitude is a treasure trove of writings that inspire and prod one to think seriously about things that most of us just take for granted. The editors have assembled the writings of well-known authors who open the meaning of “gratitude” to make its practice useful and joyful. Authors such as James Martin, SJ, Henri Nouwen, Joan Chittister, O.S.B., and even David Brooks help you rethink your own response to gratitude.

Deacon Patrick LaPacz, O. Praem.

Deacon Patrick LaPacz, O. Praem.

The Magnificat Lenten Companion 2018

Recommended by: Deacon Patrick LaPacz, O. Praem.

This booklet contains reflections and short prayers for every day in Lent and helps keep one focused through one’s Lenten journey.

Frater Anh Tran, O. Praem.

Frater Anh Tran, O. Praem.

The Long Loneliness: An Autobiography of the Legendary Catholic Social Activist

By Dorothy Day

Recommended by: Frater Anh Tran, O. Praem.

Through Dorothy Day’s autobiography of her life as a devout Catholic, a lover of Christ, and a tremendous champion for the poor, we gain insights regarding the call of true discipleship within our lives and the beauty of the Paschal Mystery.


More opportunities to celebrate the season of Lent at St. Norbert Abbey »

August 2017 Norbertine Celebrations at St. Norbert Abbey

August 21, 2017

St. Augustine

St. Augustine

On Sunday, August 27, 2017, at the First Vespers of the Solemnity of St. Augustine, Rev. Peter B. Ambting will be vested in the white habit of the Norbertine Order. Rt. Rev. Gary J. Neville, O. Praem., Abbot of St. Norbert Abbey, will preside over the vestition ceremony.

On Monday, August 28, 2017, the Solemnity of St. Augustine, Frater Patrick M. LaPacz, O. Praem., will profess Solemn Vows, forming a mutual lifelong commitment to the canonical life between himself and the entire professed community. Abbot Neville will preside over the solemn rite.

On Tuesday, August 29, 2017, Frater LaPacz also will be ordained to the diaconate by Most Rev. Robert F. Morneau, D.D., Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Green Bay.

Read more about vestition and the Norbertine religious habit »


August 27, 2017 — First Vespers of the Solemnity of St. Augustine

Vestition of Fr. Peter Ambting, O. Praem.

An Outward Sign of an Inward Spirit


August 28, 2017 — Solemnity of St. Augustine

Bishop and Doctor of the Church | Author of Our Rule of Life
Celebrating the Solemn Profession of Frater Patrick LaPacz, O. Praem.

A Lifelong Commitment to Canonical Life

from St. Norbert Abbey on Vimeo


August 29, 2017 — Mass of Diaconate Ordination of Deacon Patrick LaPacz, O. Praem.


Frater Patrick Michael LaPacz, O. Praem.

Profession of Solemn Vows and Ordination to the Diaconate

… I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me this year as a Norbertine deacon.

—Deacon Patrick LaPacz, O. Praem.
Frater Patrick LaPacz, O. Praem.

Frater Patrick LaPacz, O. Praem.

Frater LaPacz, 30, is the son of Terrence and Mary (Berg) LaPacz of Green Bay, Wis., and is a son of St. Agnes Parish in Green Bay.

Frater LaPacz was vested in the white Norbertine habit in August 2012 and professed Simple Vows in August 2014.

A 2005 graduate of Notre Dame de la Baie Academy, Green Bay, Frater LaPacz graduated from St. Norbert College in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in history. He also studied at Conception Seminary College in Missouri from 2009-2011, and is completing a Master of Divinity degree at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago.

“My solemn profession and diaconate ordination were special days for me. My journey to this point has been long, but it was worth the wait. I’m so glad I was able to celebrate these days with friends and family, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me this year as a Norbertine deacon.” —Deacon Patrick LaPacz, O. Praem.

Read More


Fr. Peter Bernardus Ambting, O. Praem.

Vestition

… I look forward to take time for contemplation and reflection during the novitiate.

—Fr. Peter Ambting, O. Praem.
Fr. Peter Ambting, O. Praem.

Fr. Peter Ambting, O. Praem.

Fr. Ambting, 44, is the son of Peter H. and Wilhemina (Vos) Ambting of Doetinchem, Netherlands, and is a son of St. Martin Parish in Beek, Netherlands.

Fr. Ambting graduated from the Secondary Agricultural School of Doetinchem in July 1991 and from Higher General Continued Education schooling in August 2002. After being admitted into the seminary for the Archdiocese of Utrecht, Netherlands, in 2001, he earned a master’s degree in theology (Pastoral Theology) in August 2007. Fr. Ambting was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Utrecht on May 17, 2008, and most recently served as the pastor of the Roman Catholic Parish of Maria en Laurentius (a merged parish comprising 19 previous parishes) since 2010.

The first-year Norbertine novitiate (in which Fr. Ambting will participate) will take place at St. Norbert Abbey.

“After saying farewell to my parish in the Netherlands on July 2, emptying my house, and organizing the move to the U.S. in the weeks afterwards, finally the moment of vestition was here. It was the result of two and a half years of discernment since I first visited St. Norbert Abbey. That was a pretty long time. Because of the distance I was only able to make it to De Pere during my yearly summer vacation. I also wanted to finish the merger of the two parishes where I was the pastor.

I have been a priest for more than nine years, and always felt the desire for community life. The vestition with the white habit was for me an external sign of an internal movement. It felt good to take this first step, but I also realize the call to community life will be there every day as a gift and a task. After 10 years of working in a parish I look forward to take time for contemplation and reflection during the novitiate.” —Fr. Peter Ambting, O. Praem.

The Gift of Presence

By Frater Patrick LaPacz, O. Praem.

Frater Patrick LaPacz, O. Praem., reflects in the cemetery of St. Norbert Abbey.

Frater Patrick LaPacz, O. Praem., reflects in the cemetery of St. Norbert Abbey.

Between January and May of this year, I had the pleasure of partaking in an extended unit of Clinical Pastoral Education, otherwise known as CPE. CPE is the program for those who want to be certified chaplains and work in settings such as hospitals or nursing homes. Also, completing a unit of CPE is a requirement for seminarians in many dioceses and religious communities, including the St. Norbert Abbey community. In CPE, one gains self-knowledge and grows as a pastoral minister through clinical hours and group processing. There were four other students in the unit besides myself, guided by our CPE supervisor.

I completed my clinical hours as a chaplain intern in two hospitals and a nursing home/assisted-living facility in the Chicago area. Anyone who has taken part in CPE would agree that certain ministerial encounters stick with you. I recall a number of times going to the room of a patient who had just died and offering spiritual support to any family or friends present. I do not think anything can fully prepare you for handling these or similar situations, because each person, each family, is unique, and the dying experience for loved ones impacts people differently. In such situations, I recall feeling like there was something more I should have been doing. However, the family or friends of the deceased were often just grateful for my presence. In their time of sorrow, my presence and support meant more to them than I realized.

Early on in my unit of CPE, I was on the other side of such a sorrowful situation—the unexpected death of my brother in early February. My family and I, as well as many others, grieved over his death. That first week, especially the first few days, were tremendously hard for me. It did not seem real at times. I just wanted to see my brother again. However, it was the presence and support of those around me that helped me through that difficult time.

My family, friends, CPE supervisor, and group members were there for me. My fellow brothers in Norbert were also present and supportive, such as Frater Jordan Neeck, O. Praem., who drove me from Chicago to St. Norbert Abbey the morning after I received the news of my brother’s death. There was also Fr. James Baraniak, O. Praem., who reached out to my parents upon learning the news. And how can I forget the many Norbertines present at my brother’s funeral Mass. It is moments like these that show me I joined the right community—a community of faithful brothers who care.

Ironically, I learned about grief in CPE as I grieved over the loss of my brother. Grief can be thought of as a wound that starts out large but gets smaller over time. However, like a scar, it will never go away. In my opinion, the supportive presence of those close to us can help with the diminishment of grief. I experienced this supportive presence myself and am glad I was able to minister to others in such a way as a chaplain intern in CPE.

Where We Minister

As stated in the mission of St. Norbert Abbey, “We give ourselves in service to one another and to people in need, with special emphasis on service and advocacy for the poor. We commit ourselves to our traditional ministries, while being open to new apostolates.”

Members of the Norbertine Community of St. Norbert Abbey minister at hospitals and nursing homes, among other apostolates.

If you are considering a vocation to Norbertine religious life and/or priesthood, call 920.337.4333 or e-mail vocations@norbertines.org to speak with a member of St. Norbert Abbey’s vocations team.

Learn more »


Pin It on Pinterest