In cloistered hearts thou didst awake
The love of Him, Who for our sake
Dwells on our altars, closely veiled.
When Tanchelin’s profane touch assailed
– Hymn to St Norbert
On June 6th the community celebrated, with great joy and festivity, the Solemnity of Our Holy Father St Norbert, Bishop and Founder of Our Order. The life of St Norbert can be found here on our order’s central website.
We started the celebration of St Norbert’s feast with First Vespers of the Solemnity of OHF Norbert. The community were joined by Fr Aelred Niespolo OSB, a monk of St Andrew’s Abbey in Valyermo, California, and Fr Anthony Homer, a priest of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. As is our custom much of vespers was sung to traditional Norbertine chant.
During First Vespers our Prior, Rt Rev Hugh Allan O.Praem, blessed an icon of St Norbert commissioned for us by a kind friend and benefactor Canon Denis McSwinney, priest of the diocese of Northampton.
After celebrating the conventual Mass here in the Priory Fr Hugh, myself and Fr Anthony Homer went to the Norbertine Priory of Our Lady of England, Storrington, where we were to meet fifty of our parishioners from Chelmsford who were travelling down to the Priory as well. Sadly traffic problems prevented us from arriving at the same time, but the coach party from Chelmsford started the solemnity in the Priory with a Mass celebrated by Very Rev John Wisdom O.Praem. (Sub-Prior of our Canonry, and currently House Superior of Storrington Canonry).
After Mass we joined the group for lunch and Fr Hugh gave them a potted history of Storrington Canonry and Our Lady of England. The parishioners then visited the shrine of Our Lady of England where they prayed for the conversion of England and growth in the Order of Prémontré.
We stayed on for Second Vespers of the solemnity with the parish community of Storrington, and then made our way back to Chelmsford. All in all it was good to celebrate the feast with our brethren, and to take our people to visit another Norbertine house.
Please continue to pray for our community; that we will be faithful sons of St Norbert, and that God will raise up many more ardent yet gentle men who can help us spread His Gospel.
Our Holy Father Augustine, Pray for us!
Our Holy Father Norbert, Pray for us!