Vantage Point Gala

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On Saturday September 27th over 350 friends gathered in Newport Beach to share in St. Michael's 15th annual Vantage Point Gala. Abbot Eugene delivered a stirring thank you for those who already made major leadership gifts for the new abbey project. He invited each of these 16 couples to stand in order to receive the applause of those attending. A Norbertine schola sang both chant and polyphony.  In less than 15 minutes the same gathering of friends raised more than a quarter million dollars in response to a challenge grant offered by Pat and Deborah Powers.  These funds will help the seminarians move into a permanent home in Orange County - the new St. Michael's Abbey.

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Inspiring Norbertines

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St. Michael's completes its second week of its very successful summer camp program.  What is the reason for its popularity?  Boys find the non-stop sports, substantial meals, and inspiring counselor-seminarians to be the best possible way to spend a day.  And to spend an entire week at camp makes it seven times better!
Often parents notice the positive change in their sons when they return from camp. Sometimes the change lasts a week or two and sometimes the change is permanent.  Today we highlight fr. Christopher Landhoff, Fr. Patrick Foutts, and fr. Linus Callon [as seen in the photo L to R].  All three of these Norbertines first heard God inviting them to a closer relationship with Him as summer campers.  As a seven-year old fr. Christopher thought that the seminarians he had as counselors were real-life super-heroes.  Frater Linus shared the same experience and made the same conclusion. Fr. Patrick was one of the counselors at that time and now he is the summer camp director for week two.  Please join us in prayer that all our boys will have a fun camping experience and that God will continue to call generous-hearted youth to the priesthood and religious life.
Update on the Land
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The new abbey project is moving forward.  Construction teams began grading the property in mid-July.  By the end of August they reached the level for the first buildings. These buildings lie in the northwest corner of the approved site and include a convent and chapel for the Rosarian Dominican Sisters as well as a maintenance area.  The Sisters have faithfully supported the Norbertine community since the late 1970s in preparing all the meals for the abbey's confreres and the prep school students. The maintenance area will store tools and equipment necessary to keep the new abbey as beautiful and smoothly running as the day on which it is blessed.  Those Norbertines who are working on keeping the current abbey site looking nice have high hopes for their future "palace of industry" as they fondly call it.
Latest Events

Blessing of the Bikes

botb03Each spring at the abbey, with Holy Week, Easter and then the end of the school year, the community finds itself prayerful, yet very busy.  This season has been especially busy and also the types of activities have been diverse.  Sunday May 4, Fr. James Smith returned to the famous bikers' bar, Cook's Corner (located at the bottom of our driveway) for his 14th year of "Blessing the Bikes." Father started his blessings a little after 7 o'clock in the morning and continued until after 2 in the afternoon.  By spending hours in the sun and blessing hundreds of bikes, Cook's and Fr. James raised needed money for Second Harvest Foodbank of the St.Vincent de Paul Society of Orange County.

Organ Recital with Paul Jacobs

009Later that afternoon, a group of 14 of our confreres went up to the Disney Hall, home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, in order to assist organist Paul Jacobs in presenting Bach's monumental Clavier-Übung III.  Mr. Jacobs had asked the abbey choir to sing the chorale melodies of the German Missa Brevis, which Bach used as source material for most of the pieces of this work.  He was particularly interested that music written originally for religious purposes should be sung by a schola that of religious.  Playing the two hour long work without intermission and entirely from memory, Jacobs and the Norbertines received an instant standing ovation from the packed house afterward.  The community is preparing to sing chants from the Missa Requiem before Jacobs, Carl St. Clair and the Pacific Symphony and John Alexander and the Pacific Chorale perform Duruflé's Requiem.

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