ST. NORBERT (1080-1134) experienced a dramatic conversion in the year 1115 and dedicated the rest of his life to living and promoting priestly holiness in his own life and in the life of the Church of his day.
In 1121, he laid the foundations of what would later become known as the “Norbertine Order” in the valley of Prémontré, France. Also known as “Canons Regular of Prémontré”, the Order is dedicated to attaining priestly holiness through living together in community under the Rule of St. Augustine. The Sacred Liturgy is at the heart of this life which is further enriched by observances taken from the great monastic tradition.
On Easter Sunday, 1126, while celebrating Mass in the Cathedral of Wurzburg, Germany, St. Norbert healed a blind woman by breathing on her eyes after he had received the Blood of Christ from the chalice.
Feast day: June 6th
Patron saint of: Those Who Work for Peace, the People of Bohemia, and Expectant Mothers
Father Claude Williams, O.Praem., a native of New Orleans, LA, entered the St. Michael’s Abbey in the summer of 2000, after attending the Franciscan University of Steubenville from 1998-2000. From 2004-2007, he studied at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, where he earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Sacred Theology with a concentration in Dogmatics.
Father Claude served for five years as Vice Dean of Students at St. Michael's Preparatory High School in Silverado, CA. During this time, Father Claude also ministered in the classroom as a teacher. After his ordination in 2009 until 2012, Father Claude provided sacramental assistance to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Irvine, CA.
Currently, Fr. Claude is parochial vicar for Hispanics at St. John the Baptist parish in Costa Mesa, CA, where he offers the Traditional Latin Mass each Sunday.
Q: What is a Norbertine?
A: One who strives to live the way the apostles lived: in loving and heartfelt union with Jesus Christ, true God and true man, and in communion with others whom this same Jesus Christ has called to be His company. A Norbertine praises God's glory within the context of the liturgy and serving his neighbor in many varied ways.
Q: Why are you a Norbertine?
A: I met a Norbertine for the first time in 1998 when I was a senior in high school. That planted a seed in my heart and my mind. Then I was repeatedly invited to visit the Norbertines in Orange County, California while I was an undergrad in college. I was very happy on my visit and edified by the many young, smiling seminarians and also by the brotherly way in which everyone seemed to get along. Also, I loved that we sang almost all our prayers and that music was so central to our liturgy.
Q: What is the most fulfilling part of your ministry?
A: That is a hard question since so much is very fulfilling ... I think one of the most rewarding things is working with families, especially with married couples in the parish. I find that much of what we learn as Norbertines living in community has application to family and domestic life. We are able to pass along our lived experiences and practices to help others.