Vocations TeamSolemnly-professed religious hold symbols of the evangelical vows: the thistle (poverty), the lily (chastity), and the sunflower (obedience). The Paschal candle represents Christ the Light of the World, and the dove the outpouring of God’s Spirit. Deo Gratias stained glass window (detail) | St. Norbert Abbey, De Pere, Wisconsin | Francis Deck, designer | Emil Frei Studio, St. Louis

Norbertine Vocations Team

St. Norbert Abbey offers a dedicated team of priests who minister to young men ages 18-40 considering a vocation to Norbertine religious life and/or priesthood. Prior James Baraniak, O. Praem., Fr. Matthew Dougherty, O. Praem., and Fr. Tim Shillcox, O. Praem., strive to journey with vocation contacts, introducing them to Norbertine confreres and ministerial apostolates while answering questions about common life.

To speak with a member of St. Norbert Abbey’s vocations team, call 920.337.4333 or e-mail vocations@norbertines.org. Young men joining us in advancing our mission is another way our canonical life remains “ever ancient, ever new.”


Application Process

Norbertine Community

Before you submit an application to join the Norbertine Order, it is assumed that a relationship has been formed with us. Typically you would be involved in at least one year of discernment in dialogue with the Norbertine Vocations Team. If you are seriously contemplating joining the order, a spiritual director will be provided.

Ideally, discernment will include attending a retreat at St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere, Wisconsin: a vocation retreat, a personal retreat, the annual Triduum retreat, or all of the above. As your relationship with the community deepens, a member of the Norbertine vocations team will arrange for you to meet with the Norbertine formation director, the prior of the community, and the abbot. At the same time, we will introduce you to various Norbertines including fraters and brothers currently studying in the formation program.

If there is a feeling of mutual comfort between us, you may request an application to join our way of life. The application process (which often takes six months to complete) requires the following information:

  • application form
  • personal spiritual autobiography
  • three personal or character references
  • academic transcripts
  • sacramental registry
  • comprehensive psychological and physical examination and evaluation provided by the Norbertine Order

Once completed, these materials are forwarded to the abbot and his council for approval.

To begin this process, we ask that you complete a Norbertine background information form, available by contacting St. Norbert Abbey’s vocations team: 920.337.4333 or vocations@norbertines.org.


Be a Part of the Legacy. Be a Part of the Joy.

Discover the Norbertine way of life through story and song.

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