St. Norbert College
St. Norbert College
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Daylesford Abbey
Paoli, Pa.

>> view the Daylesford Abbey website

the Daylesford Abbey In the early 1930s, Abbot Bernard Pennings sent a group of Norbertines to the Philadelphia area to help in the establishment of two high schools. The first group, left for Archmere Academy, which was a college preparatory school in 1932. In 1934, the Archbishop of Philadelphia requested that Norbertines help staff Southeast Catholic High School. This was the introduction of the Norbertines to the east coast of the United States. 

In 1954, a group of first year novices moved into the Cassatt Estate in Berwyn, starting what would become Daylesford Abbey. They called it Daylesford because the train station in Berwyn was called Daylesford. The Norbertines later moved to Paoli but kept the name Daylesford. The abbey started as a dependent priory of the St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere, Wisconsin. Father Julian Resch was the first prior. In 1963, Abbot Killeen (of St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere) set up the eastern community as an independent priory. This was exactly 70 years after the first Norbertines came to the United States. The eastern community consisted of three houses (Philadelphia, Claymont and Paoli) and 80 men. They became an abbey in 1971 making it the second abbey in the United States. John E. Neitzel O. Praem was elected the first Abbot. In 2000, the Norbertines regretfully had to stop staffing Neumann High School. They are still active at Archmere Academy.
The Norbertines at Daylesford are like the Norbertines everywhere else in the world: they live by Communio and lead lives of prayer and selfless service. The Norbertines at Daylesford have ministries in Pennsylvania and Delaware. They work in parish churches, serve as hospital chaplains, work with the homeless and teach. The abbey sponsors a Spirituality Center, the primary theme of which is peace and reconciliation. This follows in the footsteps of St. Norbert. The Spirituality Center offers personal and group retreats and includes programs such as the Stephen Ministry which is an outreach for those dealing with loss of any kind, a Cancer Support Group, Spiritual Direction and other programs that are an outreach to the poor and needy.

Compiled by Lindsay Koeppel using documents from St. Norbert Abbey, De Pere, Wis.Special thanks to Sal Cuccia, O.Praem. and Ted Antry, O.Praem.

Center for Norbertine Studies

Phone: (920) 403-3919
Fax: (920) 403-4076

St. Norbert College • 100 Grant Street • De Pere, WI 54115-2099 • 920-337-3181