One of the highlights of our trip to Wisconsin was a visit to St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere. A year ago I would have merely appreciated this lovely Norbertine sanctuary, but having participated in the Heritage Tour last summer to Europe with Dr. Marinelli (and his wife, Diane), Mr. Nowaczyk (and his wife, Michelle), Ms. da Ponte, and Board member Bob Shields (and his wife, Mary Kay), visiting this abbey provided something of an American closure to Archmere’s rich Norbertine past.
Though a more contemporary place, this abbey possessed much of what the abbeys we saw in Europe–Tongerlo, Averbode, Grimbergen, Leffe, and Mondaye–offered: peace and simplicity surrounding lovely cloisters, the hearts of the abbeys.
Visiting Premontre, the remains of Norbert’s first abbey, in France, was a highlight of last summer’s pilgrimage; at that point, at that place, the path to Archmere became abundantly clear: there really is a connection. But visiting St. Norbert Abbey, knowing that its European roots are one step away from Archmere’s birth, closed in a different way the circle that began in 1123. Archmere’s history is good. We should all know it. Really.
Here are a few more pictures.
I know I am not doing this abbey justice, but I truly enjoyed being immersed again, even for a few hours, in the bigger picture of Archmere’s Norbertine tradition.