A community of Norbertine priests from California is putting down roots in the Midwest by opening a new priory and educational institute in Springfield, Illinois, this summer.

Father Augustine Puchner, OPraem, the community’s new prior, told Catholic News Agency that the new priory and institute represent the fruition of an almost 20-year vision for the growing Norbertine community. Puchner lives at the new priory in Springfield with six other Norbertine priests from St. Michael’s Abbey in Orange County, California.

Located in the former Corpus Christi Priory on Springfield’s northeast side, which has been standing nearly a century, the new priory is technically still “dependent” on the main abbey in California, but the goal is for the priory to grow and gain its independence in the coming years, Puchner said.

The new priory had its official opening July 1. The Norbertines plan to offer daily Mass and thrice-weekly confessions in the new space, located at 4867 Laverna Rd., as well as host diocesan events and retreats for groups and individuals. The buildings and grounds of Corpus Christi Priory are the former site of the Chiara Center, operated by the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, who will continue to live in a convent on the property. The Norbertine fathers will serve as chaplains for the sisters, Puchner said….

The new initiative, The Evermode Institute, seeks to serve Catholic teachers, administrators, and formators by offering a complete curriculum in the fundamentals of the Catholic faith that is “confident in its Catholicism and clear in its approach,” its website proclaims. It’s named for the 12th century St. Evermode, a close collaborator of St. Norbert. Evermode is known for his “great and effective works of evangelization and formation in the Catholic faith,” the Springfield Diocese said….

From the Catholic News Agency