Communio (a Latin word meaning communion) is said to be the charism of the Norbertine Order. The Rule of St. Augustine, which Norbertines follow, tells us, "The first purpose for which you have come together is to live in unity in the house, and to be of one mind and heart in God." Prayer is the most perfect expression of this unity - which is manifested concretely in the several hours of each day devoted to the sung recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours. Each man comes to his place in the choir to sing these prayers throughout the day and night.
But the notion of Communio is not exhausted by the communal prayers at the abbey. It extends to the common life we live. Meals are taken in common, the priests and seminarians come together weekly for recreation after dinner, where conversation is lively and friendships grow. Communio is manifested also in many of the shared activities confreres do, not only in the area of ministry and apostolate, but in the arts, landscape work in the gardens, music, and literature. It even extends to play, as the seminarians have sports recreation on Saturdays, and some of the more intrepid (and younger) priests join them in games that run the gamut from soccer to basketball. So, extending from the most sublime height of our prayer life, down though every detail of the daily schedule, the communion between brethren is a true bond that unites us as brothers in Christ.
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