A great video: life with the Norbertines

Some longtime readers may remember the great story of Grant Desme, star player for the Oakland A’s, who left the A’s farm team last year to join the seminary — in fact, entering St. Michael’s Abbey, to begin formation with the Norbertines in Orange County in California.  I just stumbled on this beautifully produced video, below, which gives a glimpse into their life.  (Kudos to the Norbertines: they have their own YouTube channel!) Evidently, they’re big in the music biz, too, and have a recording of their chant available.

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  • http://mountcarmelastoria.org Msgr Sean Ogle

    The Abbot there is Most Rev. Eugene Joseph Hayes (shown in the very last shot): a Brooklyn boy (St Jerome’s School ’64), graduate of Brooklyn Cathedral (’68) and Cathedral College (’72). He has family still here. They’re a great community; I’ve visited several times. They discovered a few years ago their school and abbey is built on a geological fault, so they have to find a new location for their over 50 monks (mostly young.) So when they speak of “moving mountains”, it’s not just a metaphor.

  • Irish Spectre

    This has a heart rending, exquisite beauty to it, and I am thankful to the good deacon for sharing it with us. It is deserving of widespread exposure to all types of audiences.

  • Michele

    My teachers at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana CA were Norbertines from St. Michael’s…and Abbot Hayes is also the chaplain for the Ancient order of Hibernians in Orange County. St. Michael’s is a wonderful place. My brothers went there for summer camp for many years.

  • William

    Living in Wisconsin, my only experience of the Norbertines has been with those of St. Norbert’s in De Pere. Disappointing.

  • Mary

    I’m sure they do great work. That’s a lovely video, full of symbolism but didn’t it bother anyone else that after all that hard work, and the obvious risks of stomping grapes in a white habit, the grape juice was allowed to just run out into the dirt?? Oh, but then they did collect the finished wine already in bottles from among the rows of grapevines…wait, what’s that supposed to mean?

    Some days I’m just too literal. Peace be upon them and may they thrive.

  • Mary

    Lovely. But the only sinner is a woman. And what’s with the papal habits? Ah, for the good old days, when one could trust a religious order….

  • http://mountcarmelastoria.org Msgr Sean Ogle

    The “papal habit” is a tradition first established by Pope St Pius V, who continued wearing his white Dominican habit after his election to the papacy. The Dominican habit, of course, derived from the founder, St Dominic, who was a Norbertine canon before founding the Dominicans. So the Norbertines actually had the “papal habit” before any Pope did!

  • Mary

    Thanks, Msgr Sean! That is fascinating!

  • http://www.seasonsofgrace.net Kathy Schiffer

    I’ve met several of the Norbertines from St. Michael’s Abbey. They have done great work, too, in prisons and with at-risk youth. I was so impressed by their genuine holiness.

  • Ann

    The Norbertines are a precious gift to the diocese of Orange. They are totally “in sync” with Rome. Their liturgies are beautiful (even the English ones); they should be teaching diocesan priests how to offer the Holy Mass. Everything done and sung is deliberate-no rushing through the Sacred Liturgy. It is evident the priest knows he is not the focus-it is Christ. Their homilies are always full of “food for thought.” And great Confessors. And they all can offer the Mass in the Extraordinary Form! It is no wonder they have no trouble attracting young men who are interested in dedicating their lives to the Lord and His Faithful.

  • Ann

    Correction: I should have written “many diocesan priests how to offer the Holy Mass,” because many do offer Mass with reverence, and give inspiring homilies.

  • Debbie

    12 Great video, I have shared this with everyone I know, I stumbled upon this when I wanted to know how Grant is .He is in the video, so I assumed he is doing ok. I pray for vocations and the Norbetines. Pray for you Grant
    In Christ Debbie

  • Debbie

    How is Grant doing Is he still there? Just a yes or no will do I am praying for him


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