Rev. Charles J. Norman, OSFS
September 7, 1955
December 8, 1958
February 6, 1965
Faculty, Bishop Ireton High School, Lehigh University, De Sales University, Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture, LaSalle University; Principal, Bishop Ireton High School; Chaplain, Moravian College, Lafayette College
Retired – Villa de Sales Oblate Residence – Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Pope Francis initiated a Year of Consecrated Life; what is your understanding of the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience?
Poverty: Our constitutions and statutes, and province policies define the practical observance of poverty. The virtue is governed by non-attachment. Chastity: The right use of human sexuality. Obedience: At root, “obedience” means “to hear, to listen.”
Of the three vows, which do you see most connecting you to the people you serve?
I “serve” my community and those I am called ad hoc to minister to otherwise. Obedience, as I understand it, is key to all this.
What gift do you see the Oblates, as religious men, bringing to the church and world?
It could be the antidote to clericalism which subtly, and thus more powerfully, subverts all levels of priesthood and religious life.
How does your commitment to a religious community impact your life?
It shapes and defines it.
What is your greatest hope for religious life in the church?
The current epoch of forms of religious life is yielding to new emergent forms. May God grace the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales with the courage, faith, and charity to morph what the Spirit is calling us to become.
What has been a surprise for you as you have lived as a religious?
As “only in death can you judge a person,” so too, my life makes for more “sense” in retrospect.
What excites you most about Pope Francis?
Correcting the scandalous and disastrous distortion of the Gospel that for so long has been endorsed and enforced.