Ministry in Focus
Order of Malta

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The Norbertine Fathers contribute their time and talent in many service organizations and valuable ministries in and beyond Southern California. One of these organizations is the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and Malta, better known as the Order of Malta. This is an ancient religious Order founded in Jerusalem in 1050 AD. Its Rule borrows from St. Benedict and the Benedictine tradition. The Order has long focused its apostolic work at helping the sick and the poor.

The Western Association of the Order in the United States was formed over 50 years ago. With more than 700 members, the Knights and Dames live primarily in the states of California, Arizona and Washington.

Abbot Eugene started his involvement with the Order of Malta when three very fine men, Tom Fuentes, Ken Tait, and Bob Bond told him about the about the work of the Order and invited him to join.
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Why do religious rise so early?
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Each morning, all the priests and seminarians of the abbey rise at around 5 o'clock in the morning. Waiting in two lines by a side of the church (called statio in Latin - think of it as "battle stations"), all process in at 5:45 to begin the day's prayers.

Now, you might say, "Yikes! That's really early to get up and start praying! Why would you do that?" A reasonable series of questions, and an accurate observation: it is early. Replies could be made that actually 5:45 is actually very moderate in practice. Historically, Norbertines used to interrupt their sleep each night and have the first office of the day at midnight, and present day Trappists and some Benedictine abbeys start the day at around 3:15.

The ultimate reason for rising so early for communal prayer, even more than the penitential aspect, for the confrere who is not a "morning person", is the sanctification of the day - rendering to God what is His throughout the hours of the day so that all comes under His gentle yoke. Such a practice pulls each member out of himself and purely personal concerns, while the community prays the public prayer of the Church, the Liturgy of the Hours, or "Officium" in Latin, interceding for the Church and the world.
 
Novena

Novena for the Year of Consecrated LifeNovena for the
Year of Consecrated Life

February 9-17, 2015

Join us, each evening beginning at 7:00 p.m. for a talk with novena prayer for vocations to the religious and priestly life. At 8:00 p.m., Adoration with Compline (Night Prayer) with 9:05 p.m. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

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What does Consecrated mean?

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The Holy Father has designated this year as a time to foster, examine and be thankful for consecrated life.

Consecrate:
make or declare sacred; dedicate formally to a religious or divine purpose.

Essential in the notion of consecrated life is the separateness that the word itself signifies, from the Latin con (an intensifier) and sacrare (dedicate), for religious life is nothing if not a life set apart for God and the things of God. Yet this separate quality has many facets in the Church: each Order or Institute brings a different quality to the notion of consecrated life, based on the intuitions of the founder.

But there will be common threads between all religious Orders - a pursuit of God across all the activities of the day, a goal of making holy (sanctifying) even daily work. It is under this lens of a consecrated life that the work, prayer and life of the Norbertine will be examined over the next year.
 
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