The Norbertines of Berne Abbey

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Gate of Berne Abbey

On This Date…

On August 3, 1134, a Friday, the Norbertine Abbey of Berne in Holland was founded, just two months after the death of Saint Norbert. Today it is the oldest religious community in The Netherlands. Berne Abbey sent three Norbertines to America on November 1, 1893; a total of 26 Norbertines came to America from Berne, including Abbot Bernard Pennings, O.Praem., the founder of Archmere Academy.

In 1923 Berne Abbey sent three missionaries to India; today Saint Norbert Abbey in Jamtara, India is the largest Norbertine Abbey in the world.

Currently there are 27 Norbertine priests and brothers in Holland, continuing Norbertine communio for 881 years. In today’s Gospel Jesus told his disciples to feed the vast crowd with their 5 loaves and 2 fish (Matthew 14:13-21). We are very grateful for the Norbertines of Berne Abbey who have shared the loaves and fish of their ministry to bring the Gospel of Jesus to the ends of the earth.

– Father McLaughlin

The Loaves and Fishes of Their Lives

Today’s Word:

Give them some food yourselves.” (Matthew 14:16)

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On This Date…

On August 3, 1134, a Friday, Berne Abbey in Holland was founded, just two months after the death of Saint Norbert.

Berne Abbey sent three Norbertines to America on November 1, 1893. They settled in De Pere, Wisconsin, where they founded Saint Norbert Abbey. A total of 26 Norbertines came to America from Berne, including Abbot Bernard Pennings, O.Praem., the founder of Archmere.

Berne Abbey is the oldest extant religious community in The Netherlands. It currently has 27 priests and brothers.

Berne Abbey

Berne Abbey

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the apostles regarding the feeding of a vast crowd: “Give them some food yourselves.” For 880 years, the Norbertines of Berne Abbey have been giving the loaves and fishes of their lives, for the care of God’s people. Archmere has been blessed by the Norbertines of Berne Abbey, as well as the Norbertines of De Pere and Daylesford.

– Father McLaughlin

Norbertine Abbey of Berne Blesses 71st Abbot

Father Denis Hendrickx, O.Praem, 63 years of age, was blessed as the 71st Abbot of Berne Abbey today. The Norbertine community began on August 3, 1134, two months after the death of Saint Norbert – founder of the Order of Prémontré.

Berne Abbey is the oldest religious community in the Netherlands. The Abbey was founded on the banks of the river Maas by a knight, Fulcold, who would later retire his armor and become a lay brother before dying on April 12, 1149.

Norbertine Abbey of Berne

Gates of Berne Abbey

Abbots Richard Antonucci and Ronald Rossi of Daylesford Abbey were in attendance at today’s abbatial blessing. Abbot Gary Neville of Saint Norbert Abbey also made the transatlantic trip. Both Daylesford Abbey in Paoli, PA and Saint Norbert Abbey in De Pere, WI trace their roots back to Berne Abbey.

– Father McLaughlin