About the host and moderator
Fr. Norbert Wood, O.Praem.
Father Norbert was raised with his six siblings in central Pennsylvania where his father was a professor at Penn State University. In 1972 the family relocated to St. Paul, MN where he completed high school and attended his freshman year at the University of St. Thomas. He entered the Norbertine Order at St. Michael’s Abbey, Silverado, CA in 1975, and was ordained a priest in 1981. He received his BA in Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome (1980) and completed three years of liturgical studies at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of Sant’Anselmo in Rome (1985).
He received his master’s degree in Education Administration from the University of San Francisco in 2001. Fr. Norbert taught religion at Mater Dei High School, Santa Ana, CA (1987-1991) and was both chaplain and teacher at Mary Star of the Sea High School, San Pedro, CA (1991-1994). He was named principal, and later rector, of Mary Star of the Sea High School from 1994 – 2001, during which time he spearheaded the project to relocate the high school and Norbertine community to a spacious new property in northern San Pedro.
In 2005 he was named the first Rector of St. John the Baptist Elementary School (six hundred students, K-8) in Costa Mesa, CA where the Norbertines have administered the parish since 2002. From 2002 to 2013 he was chaplain to the boys at Joplin Juvenile Detention Center in Trabuco Canyon, CA where he averaged 15-20 hours a week celebrating Mass, hearing confessions and counseling convicted felons, aged 12 – 16.
Fr. Norbert teaches in Christendom College’s Notre Dame Graduate school during the summer in Front Royal, Virginia, and has visited India five times to assist his Order’s growing monasteries and schools in that region of the world. He has preached retreats and missions to priests, religious and laity in the US, Canada, India, Australia and the Philippines. In his free time Father loves to read, to work in his garden and watch the many amazing bird species at St. Michael’s Abbey.
Fr. Ambrose Criste, O.Praem.
Fr. Ambrose grew up in Denver Colorado, the middle of three children. He attended Regis Jesuit High School, the all-boys Catholic preparatory school run by the Jesuit Fathers, and then went on to Colorado College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Classics, History, and Political Science. He won the Rhodes Scholarship, and so continued his education at Oxford University in England. Hearing the call to the religious life and the priesthood, he began visiting religious communities, including several of the Norbertine Canons Regular. He entered St. Michael’s Abbey of the Norbertine Fathers in Orange County, California, and eventually pursued his priestly studies in Rome, where he received the degree of Bachelor of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum), and then the License in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University.
Fr. Ambrose made his final profession in 2006, and was ordained a priest in 2008. He lives at St. Michael’s Abbey, the monastery of his profession, where he is the novice master, the master of the junior-professed, and the vocations director. The Norbertine Canons there at St. Michael’s rejoice to have a large, young, and thriving religious community with many worthy vocations and a magnificent canonical life.
Enjoy critically acclaimed documentary series, video lectures, and more from the Norbertine Fathers, on-demand in the Abbot’s Circle video library.
Immerse yourself in a collection of chants, reflections, audio lectures, and more from the Norbertine Fathers, on-demand in the Abbot’s Circle audio library.
Enjoy a vast collection of thought-provoking written reflections from the Norbertine Fathers in the Abbot's Circle written library.