The Canons have one priest, the prior and last time I talked with them
True. He told me that they once had (at different times) another priest and even a deacon come and live with them aspiring to the community, but that these men left because "in middle-age their will was already too strong, and they could not obey." Which he could not understand because it is not as if they ask anything too hard there, they are very observant, but also personally laid back and flexible.
Right now, he is their only priest and superior.
he had 3 novices, although I heard one of them recently went to the SSPX, im not sure how true it is.
Right now, their are two other men besides Father Oppenheimer. They are no longer novices, however, but Junior Proffessed.
The other young man left, by I did not hear it said that it was for the SSPX. Father mentioned him and just said that he thinks "that unlike the others [the priest and deacon] he had no trouble obeying, but I think he just got bored"...
Dom Oppenheimer (sp?) was SSPX, then FSSP, then with the Norbertine fathers for a few years.
Never heard about the SSPX part, though he did mention a friend at Econe, and has expressed sympathy for the SSPX in some newsletters (though also strong disapproval of their schism). One of the fraters told me that, "Dom Daniel was the first American ordained for the Fraternity of St. Peter"
The Norbertine Canons at the Abbey of St. Michael in Orange County California are where he did his judicial novitiate so that he could start his own order. He was originally planning an order of Clerks Regular, but upon spending some time with the Canons of St. Michael, decided to make his order more choir-oriented, more liturgically monastic. But he was never really planning to stay their forever, it was his required judicial novitiate.
I have never heard of that order called the Canons Regular.
Canons Regular are a whole SUBTYPE of religious life, similar to the categories Monastic, Military, Mendicant, Clerk Regular etc. There are many orders of Canons Regular. Most use the Rule of St. Augustine, as do the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem.
Here is a Catholic Encyclopedia article on Canons and Canonesses Regular:
and where are they formated?
They have a little classroom set up in their house. Various professors and tutors come to their house everyday for a few a hours, although one day we drove to a [retired] professor's house for history of western philosophy, instead of him coming to us. I think a lot come from the Catholic universities in the area, though their latin teacher is a very young man who lives right down the road. They have set up what they call their "Studium Augustinianum" and I believe the program and curriculum is accredited through one of the Roman universities. All the professors are devout Catholics, sympathetic to traditionalism, and they start and end every session kneeling with latin prayers etc...They invite other people to participate in the program if they wish, but they must be able to follow the broader spiritual regimen of the canons even if they do not aspire to the community (none do so that I know of).
They have a nice little chapel built in the old garage of the house, and beautiful choir stalls (thus far of capacity 6) built by the clearcreek benedictines. They have a loyal little parish group, many who homeschool their many children (i remember one little girl came to mass on Epiphany dressed as a carmelite nun...), and say Sunday mass at the church of the Passionist Nun's Cloister because there is not enough room at their chapel. The nuns are ministered to by novus ordo priests throughout the week...but all of them always also show up (behind the bars of the cloister grate) for the Tridentine High Mass each Sunday and seem to thirst for it.
I remember on the last day I was there, a Saturday, the Feast of the Epiphany, they had a party for the homeschool boys (who don't have many other peers mind you) and many of the fathers were also there for choir practice.
The parish seems to be a nice group (at least as I've met at the coffee after mass and things like this choir practice). But I also heard Father grumble about how they don't seem to want to participate beyond Sunday Mass. The canons would like to have more active apostolate too...but the parish is apparently very apathetic, and being appeased with a convenient Sunday Mass...seem to live in their own isolationist home-school families, not being very personal or fraternal. He is upset that they didn't seem to want the canons to run a catechism class for adults or children, don't seem to want to participate in charitable works, organize pilgrimages etc...just come on Sundays, and then most leave without talking to anyone else...there is only a small community that comes to the coffee or has any fraternal personal contact with anyone (besides sitting next to them at mass, not making eye contact, lol).
One of the complaints they have about a lot of other traditionalists (a circle of which they, of all people, said "stay away from most of them, don't get too involved in that paranoid subculture" LOL!) is that they seem to simply be very isolated, very solipsistic. As I've said before, trads have their own little fantasy world, and if they can get the tridentine mass and sacraments and sacramentals they are so militant about...don't seem too interested in participating in a broader fraternal movement. A very individualistic protestant mentality and spirituality; church-shop for a service you like, and then make religion into an individualistic sort of hobby done alone at home. The Catholic Church is a society for crying out loud! The perfect society! And yet here a lot of trads online are, complaining and writing dark conspiracy theories on blogs and forums, maybe going to a schismatic mass on sundays, but otherwise just saying their prayers at home, brooding, and living in their own bitter paranoid little world. It's a shame.
The CRNJ started in Lacrosse, archbishop Burke's old diocese. But they lived in an apartment above the diocesan offices, and said there was not much interest in the old rite there. So when Burke got promoted to St. Louis, they quickly followed. They live in a little house on a hill, once occupied by nuns, with a large 25-acre prarie property surrounding donated by the diocese. The "Linda Vista Catholic School" is at the bottom of the hill...which they seem to have a disdain for...as father said to me, "What kind of name is that for a Catholic School!? It should be Saint something-or-other's..." They also dislike its "wagon wheel" architectural design. The property itself, with the prarie and groves of trees is nice enough (we trekked around it playing a Three Kings scavenger hunt with the homeschool boys), but it is right off a road that has become busier and busier as urban-sprawlish subdivisions have creeped in. We usually took a walk at night through the neighborhood across the street.
Father told me, "we hopefully won't always be at this location," and expressed a desire to go somewhere where A) there is a greater population with more interest in the old liturgy, B) they can have a more tranquil property, close to nature, with the solitude of more trees blocking the sight of roads etc (they think people need to return to a connection with the Land), C) where they can build their own monastery with its own church and that looks more like a Priory (right now...it looks just like a suburban house except for the chapel where the garage should be...) As a native, I of course am biased towards the Chicagoland area (my family would be close, I know the area, it has interest in traditionalism, Cardinal George has been favorable towards it, it has lots of trees and pseudo-isolated beautiful wilderness areas in many of the suburbs), but I won't push that too willfully...besides, they might not move for years. But pray for them, please.