The Norbertines’ St. Michael’s Abbey in Orange County has seen major growth in recent years, and that growth will continue in Illinois. Plans are underway to establish a new community in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois that will include a new center for Catholic spirituality and the formation of teachers of Catholic religion.
“We have developed a strong relationship with the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey over the past several years, and we are thrilled to welcome them to our diocese,” Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield in Illinois said in a March 3 statement. “The Norbertines are a vibrant and growing community of holy men, and their presence and apostolic work will be a great blessing to the people of our diocese and to this region”
Abbot Eugene Hayes, O. Praem., who heads St. Michael’s Abbey, told Catholic News Agency March 4 that he looked forward to working closely with the bishop and supporting “his bold plans of evangelization in and around his diocese.” For the Norbertines, he said, a new community in Illinois will mean “sharing with the faithful in the Diocese of Springfield the intellectual and spiritual gifts with which God has bestowed on the Norbertines of St. Michael’s Abbey through its many vocations to the religious life and priesthood.”
The Norbertine, or Premonstratensian, Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey recently finished construction on a new abbey in eastern Orange County, after a $120 million fundraising campaign. However, the abbey is at full capacity, with almost 50 priests and 40 seminarians.
“In light of the growth in our community, we had already been discerning the possibility of establishing a new community when Bishop Paprocki approached us,” the abbot said March 3. “After prayerful discernment as a community, we have joyfully accepted Bishop Paprocki’s invitation, and we are grateful for the opportunity to establish a presence in the Springfield diocese.”
The Norbertines will help establish the new community on the grounds of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis on the northeast side of the city of Springfield, the state capital. The Springfield diocese has announced plans to establish the Evermode Institute, located on the same grounds, to serve as a center for Catholic spiritual and intellectual formation….
The planned Evermode Institute is named for the 12th century St. Evermode, a close collaborator of the Premonstratensians’ founder, St. Norbert. Evermode is known for his “great and effective works of evangelization and formation in the Catholic faith,” the Springfield diocese said. The planned institute will provide formation for lay and ordained teachers of the Catholic faith….
The above comes from a March 9 story on the site of the Catholic News Agency.