Bethlehem Priory of St Joseph - Canonesses Regular (Norbertine Sisters) in California


I posted this as an "add-on" to a semi-related thread about the Canons Regular (Norbertines), and then I decided that these lovely sisters deserved a thread of their own! :)

:nun1: The first North American priory of Canonesses Regular is here in California, at the Bethlehem Priory of St Joseph :nun1:

:nun2: Website:

:compcoff:Their newsletters:

:heaven: Breathtakingly beautiful chant with scenes of Norbertine life:

:nun1: And a longer history of their formation:

I'd love to visit them and stay in their guesthouse for a day or two. I hope I'll be able to do this sometime this year! :)


Thank you.


Very lovely! They have a rather community, it seems! I spotted four white-veiled novices in the photos on their website.

I saw the plans for their new monastery-quite extensive!

May they increase in numbers of vocations!

I really believe that it’s through the prayers and penances of cloistered religious such as these that God has not annihilated the world for its many sins and crimes. Cloistered religious-monks and nuns-are holding back His arm!


I beg to differ on the subject of ‘first canonesses in North America.’ The fact is, that the first canonesses to arrive in North America were the Augustines de la Misericorde de Jesus, who founded the Hotel Dieu (hospital) of Quebec, in 1639. They are still very much alive, a traditional group in secularized Quebec, with two missions in Latin America.


I think there may be some confusion here, odubhghail :slight_smile: The sisters referenced in the OP were the first Canonesses Regular (aka, Norbertine Canonesses) in North America… it sounds as though the Augustines de la Misericorde de Jesus are an entirely different order (non-Norbertine, non-Premonstratensian order).

I’m glad to hear that the Augustines de la Misericorde de Jesus have been here in North America since 1639 and are still going strong today! Thanks be to God for their faithfulness! :slight_smile:


:nun1: ~~~ UPDATE ~~~ :nun1:

Nine of their 20 sisters made their solemn profession on January 29 in Fresno, California. More than 50 priests and hundreds of guests were present.
Pictures and more at this link:
The Norbertine sisters are here

Another article, from Zenit:

This marked the transition of the Bethlehem Priory of St. Joseph of Tehachapi, California, from the status of an Association of the Faithful to “full integration in the Norbertine Order, the Diocese of Fresno, California, and the Roman Catholic Church as an independent canonry of Norbertine canonesses,” a press release explained.

The prioress, Mother Mary Augustine, stated, “This is truly a sacred and landmark day for our young community, a day that we have been looking forward to ever since our founding back in 1997.”

Sister Mary Norbert, one of the sisters who made her final vows that day, affirmed, “This day is truly the day the Lord has made.”

She continued: "Looking back, you can see God’s hand orchestrating everything.

“It is as if our whole lives were created by God for this one moment in time, to be able to offer and dedicate ourselves totally, unconditionally to him, to give all to Jesus, who called us and loved us first.

Full article at the link: I am so happy for these wonderful sisters! :extrahappy:


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