The Diocese of Springfield creates the Evermode Institute

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SPRINGFIELD — The Diocese of Springfield in Illinois announced plans Thursday to establish the Evermode Institute.

The new Catholic spiritual and intellectual training center will include priests from the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey who will establish a new community on the site of the former Chiara Center on the grounds of the Sisters of St. Francis Hospital in Springfield.

The Evermode Institute will offer programs for ordained and lay teachers of the faith such as catechists, Parish School of Religion (PSR) teachers, Catholic school teachers, and other groups who teach the faith.


Several priests from the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey, based in Orange, California, will move into the property this summer. The opening date for the Evermode Institute has not been finalized.

“We have developed a strong relationship with the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey over the past few years, and we are delighted to welcome them to our diocese,” said Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. . “The Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey are a vibrant and growing community of holy men, and their presence and apostolic work will be a great blessing to the people of our diocese and this region.”

The Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey recently completed construction of a new abbey in Orange County, California. The monastery is currently at full capacity with nearly 50 priests and 40 seminarians.

“In light of the growth of our community, we had already discerned the possibility of establishing a new community when Bishop Paprocki approached us,” said Fr. Eugene Hayes, O. Praem. “After prayerful discernment as a community, we gladly accepted Bishop Paprocki’s invitation, and are grateful for the opportunity to establish a presence in the Diocese of Springfield.”

The Evermode Institute was created under the patronage of Saint Evermode, a Norbertine prelate who died in 1178 and was a close collaborator of Saint Norbert. Saint Evermode is credited with great and effective works of evangelization and formation in the Catholic faith.

The announcements follow news last year when the Diocese and Sisters Hospitallers reached an agreement for the Diocese to establish a trust that assumes ownership of the Sisters’ buildings and land. The Hospitaller Sisters will continue to live at the convent indefinitely under this agreement.

“We welcome the Norbertine Fathers to Springfield and to the holy land that has been our home since 1917,” said Sister Maureen O’Connor, OSF, Provincial Superior of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis. “This new chapter in the history of the Sisters Hospitallers and the diocese marks the beginning of what we pray for a mutually beneficial relationship.

“Throughout our nearly 150 years in America, the Sisters Hospitallers have collaborated with others in the work of the Church, and so we view this agreement between the diocese and the Norbertine Fathers as a continuation of that tradition.” , she said.

Immersed in a 900-year-old tradition, the Norbertine Fathers live a common life of liturgical prayer and care for souls. Their life at Saint-Michel Abbey is organized according to the prayer of the Church: the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours. “Seven times a day I praise you,” says the psalmist, and singing together the prayers of the Divine Office, the Pre-Norbertine canons “continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God.”

For more than 60 years, the Norbertine Fathers have served in Southern California, in the words of Pope John Paul II: “raising the Holy Eucharist high above the miseries and errors of this world.” The apostolic ministries of the community are many and varied, but they all find their source in a common life of prayer and fraternal charity. To learn more, visit stmichaelsabbey.com.

Paprocki heads the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, which includes 124,000 Catholics in 129 parishes and 43 Catholic schools in 28 counties. For more details, visit www.dio.org.

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