History of St. Norbert Abbey

The Canons Regular of Premontre, (The Order of Premonstratensians) also known as the Norbertines, are members of the Order founded by St. Norbert of Xanten on Christmas night, 1121 in the valley of Premontre midway between Laon and Soissons, France. The Order of Canons Regular of Premontre is numbered among the great religious families, which have molded the culture of Europe through their work of evangelization and civilization. Their way of life is based on the Rules of St. Augustine.

As a fruit of the Gregorian reform, the Order of Premontre exemplifies a life-style, which is both original and traditional. It signals a transition between the ancient monasticism and the mendicant orders, places religious life at the service of the priesthood and above all takes as its model the life of the apostles chosen by Jesus that "they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach" (Mk: 3:14)

Their history, almost nine hundred years long, is still alive and relevant. Political events caused serious setbacks to this order, which once numbered several hundred abbeys in western and central Europe. Nevertheless, the ancient order has put forth-new growth on new hands. At the dawn of the year 2000, the Order of Premontre is present in five continents and still continues the work begun by St. Norbert. The Norbertine Order aims at the practice of the Love of God and Neighbor through solemn celebration of the Liturgy, recitation of the Divine Office in common and by engaging in parochial, educational, developmental and social activities.

The first three Norbertines arrived on Indian soil in 1923 as Missionaries from the Abbey of Berne, the Netherlands. Their field of ministry was located in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. In 1929 they took up Jabalpur region for their apostolate. They concentrated mainly on the development of the people of Mandla District (M.P) through parochial, education and health care activities.

In 1932, Jabalpur was constituted as a ‘Prefecture Apostolic’ and The Rt. Rev. Msgr. Conrad Dubbleman, O. Praem was appointed as the first Prefect Apostolic. On July 5, 1954, Jabalpur was raised to the status of a Diocese and Msgr. Conrad Dubbleman, O. Praem became its first Bishop. St. Norbert Priory, the First House of the Norbertine Order, was started at Jamtara, in the suburbs of Jabalpur Town. The Novitiate was established at Jamtara, Jabalpur in 1962. St. Norbert Priory at Jamtara, Jabalpur was raised to the status of Sub- Canonry on July 31,1976 and declared as an Autonomous Canonry on the February 15, 1984

Abbot in 2000October 7, 2000 was once again a red-letter day for the Norbertine Canonry in India. On this day, St. Norbert Priory was elevated to the status of "St. Norbert Abbey" and The Rt. Rev. Nicholas A. Ambrose, O. Praem became the first Abbot and received his Abbatial Blessing on November 13, 2000.

Abbot in 2003The Rt. Rev. Rocky D’Souza, O. Praem was elected as the second Abbot of St. Norbert Abbey, Jamtara on August 1, 2003 and he received his Abbatial Blessing on September 17, 2003. He is also elected as Definitor of the Order at the General Chapter- 2006.

Third Abbot The Rt. Rev. Benzes Thomas, O.Praem was elected as the third Abbot of St. Norbert Abbey, Jamtara on July 23, 2009 and he received his Abbatial Blessing on September 12, 2009.

Present AbbotThe Rt. Rev. Abbot Marcus Champia, O.Praem was elected as the fourth Abbot of St. Norbert Abbey, Jamtara on March 1, 2015 and he received his Abbatial Blessing on April 30, 2015.

  • 10/April
    Rev. Fr. Sabu Thomas O.Praem
  • 18/April
    Rev. Fr. Binod Bage O.Praem
  • 19/April
    Bro. Sylvanus Bur
  • 21/April
    Rev. Fr. Bartholomew Minj O.Praem
  • 24/April
    Rev. Fr. Sojan John O.Praem
  • 28/April
    Bro. Joy Baa