The following comes from a July 23 story on the Catholic World Report blog.
A blessing ceremony of the recently completed monastery expansion building was held this past Saturday, marking another milestone in the life of the growing community of Norbertine nuns.
The Bethlehem Priory of St. Joseph’s new extension was designed to suit the growing needs of this first North American community of cloistered contemplative Norbertine canonesses on their sacred ground in the mountains above Tehachapi, California.
“The new building, two stories tall with a half-basement (principally for the aging of our artisan cheese), provides much-needed living and working space for up to 48 women, gratefully replacing the leaking and damaged modular trailers that served as our dormitories and novitiate and which are literally falling apart,” said Mother Mary Augustine, Prioress of the Bethlehem Priory.
Kern County Building Department awarded the Norbertine nuns an occupancy permit for the new building in April 2013, and, following some interior finishing works done by the sisters, the 26 women moved into the expansion in mid-May on Pentecost Sunday, providentially a very special feast day for all Norbertines who follow the Rule of St. Augustine, which is modeled on the life of the first disciples of Christ as in the Acts of the Apostles.
The blessing ceremony at the Priory was officiated by the sisters’ Pater Abbas (“Father Abbot”), The Right Reverend Eugene Joseph Hayes, O. Praem., of St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado/Trabuco Canyon (Diocese of Orange), the sisters’ founding and “Mother Abbey”, and was attended by about 50 guests, including the Fresno Diocese’s Chancellor, Teresa Dominguez; Father Alphonsus Mary Hermes, O. Praem., Provost of the Priory, and other priest-confreres from St. Michael’s Abbey; local Church clergy, including Fr. Michael Cox, Administrator of St. Malachy’s in Tehachapi, and Deacon Richard Lambert from the Parish ; the sisters’ major benefactors of the project; and other special guests….
The population of the mountain-based Priory, which is nestled at 5,400 feet above and between the California’s Mojave Desert and San Joaquin Valley, has grown from the first five founding sisters to 26 nuns in various stages of religious formation, of which the first ten have made their Solemn Profession (final and perpetual vows). The sisters have several young women discerning with them at this time, with four new entrants possible in the coming months.
Norbertine Canonesses of the Bethlehem Priory of St. Joseph
17831 Water Canyon Road
Tehachapi, California 93561
To read entire story, click here.
The Norbertines have been wonderful for keeping the Faith in Southern California.
Congratulations to the Norbertine sisters.
One of those Sisters is the niece of the late pro-life Warrior, John Finn, a good friend.
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
I have to agree with Gratias. Anyone who lives in the area can visit St Michael’s Abbey and pray with the Norbertines at the Hours or the Holy Rosary. There is also Confession and Benediction each night except Sunday which is frequented by a reasonable public group . The Novus Ordo Mass is celebrated reverently as Vatican 11 documents laid down. No novelities from the celebrants. A number of the young priests also celebrate the 1962 version of the Tridentine Mass. If anyone is fortunate to attend one of these Masses, you truly feel you are experiencing Heaven on Earth.
Best of luck in the numbers department to these sisters if they happen to wear the habit; and I’m sure they do as their current head count contests that fact.
I’m still waiting for fellow twentysomethings to take up residence at the local Benedictine Abbey, Prince of Peace.
The Abbot and his Generals are dying; the young ones appear to be in their 40s or 50s.
I don’t know how the offshoots are faring, but the original ones in Clear Creek have some fresh young blood in it.
Ah, every TLM’er is gloating at the fact that the Roncalli Missal is at use in Clear Creek. I for one would sign up at Prince of Peace if they had more land for farm animals.
The answer to the question of why it is much easier for women religious to flourish than men still eludes me.
Norbertine brothers run the wonderful EF sung 1:30 pm mass at St. Mary by the Sea in Huntington Beach. Norbertine fathers help out at the 1:00 mass at Therèse in Alhambra EF mass when Fr. Bishop cannot offer it (he is pushing 80). A Norbertine Father named Ramos gave us a fabulous Easter Vigil mass at San Buenaventura Mission 4 years ago. (We were evicted from Buenaventura Mission by a new Vatican II pastor named Fr. Tom Elewaut, but now meet for sung EF mass at 10:00 am in Camarillo’s St. Mary Magdalen Chaapel every Sunday, do come.)
The bishops, if the wanted to make the EF form generously and widely available in Southern California would only need to call the Norbertine Priests. Great Catholics willing to travel for our Catholic Faith.
“The bishops, if they wanted to make the EF form generously and widely available in Southern California”! No they would rather have illegal immigration Masses with notorious pro-abortion, pro-sodomite politicians in the front row of “honor”, and soon Bishop Vann will have a similar event at the “Glass Menagerie”. I will sing hallelujahs if he does not have such “stalwarts of Catholicism” as Congresswitch Loretta Sanchez, State Senator and probably still Knight of Columbus, Lou Correa, etc. etc. ad nauseam present and “honored” at this even encouraging breaking Our Nation’s Laws and attacking pro-life, pro-family, politicos who don’t go along with this massive breaking of our Laws!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
There are more places to visit in California, Ill try to keep this mind…God bless these nuns. : ) I have never been to Tehachapi, California. I wonder how far it is from San Diego, I will have to look it up. I wonder if I have passed it up but wasn’t aware.