In early 1991, HE Terrence J. Quandt of South Holland, Illinois, was invested in the Order in Milwaukee. He was asked by Prior LTC Thomas P. Curtis II, to develop the Order in the Chicagoland and northwest Indiana regions and form a Commandery. On October 31, 1991, the first organizational meeting was held in Chicago, and in attendance were: HE Martha M. Kona, HE Dr. Lindy Kona, her husband HE Dr. Bradley Stanciu, Dr. and Mrs. George Podlusky, HE Frederick Friestedt, HE Philip M. Weber, and HE Wayne E. Parthun. At this meeting, the group voted to name the new Chicago Commandery under the patronage of Saint Norbert. Norbert was a German Knight, who renounced his profligate life, was ordained a priest and then Bishop. More importantly, he was a contemporary of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the main force who secured early Templar acceptance and support in France and from the Papacy. In fact both clergymen traveled together to Rome for an audience with the Pope.
A second organizational meeting took place on Sunday, July 26, 1992. In addition to those in attendance at the first meeting, were; HE Donald Weber, Grand Prior of the United States and his wife HE Eleanor Weber, and Russell E.A. Parthun. Plans were developed to hold the Commandery's first Vespers and Aumonier's Reception, which was held October 31, 1992 at St. James Chapel at Quigley Preparatory Seminary. St. Norbert was officially established as a Commandery with HE Quandt appointed as Commandeur.
In 1994, HE BG Patrick E. Rea was invested in the Order. He also recruited several friends and acquaintances to join with him. HE BG Rea is credited with the exponential growth of the Commandery and Priory.
On July 1, 1996, the Commandery of St. Norbert was officially elevated to a Priory, having attained a total of 75 Knights and Dames. HE Quandt was elected the first Prior of the new Priory of St. Norbert and HE BG Rea was appointed by HE Quandt as Chancellor. HE Dr. Lindy A. Kona was elected Secretary and HE Stanciu was elected Treasurer. The new Priory was given the territories that included the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri with the mission to expand the Order in these territories. HE BG Rea followed HE Quandt as the second Prior of the Priory. HE Quandt served as the first Deputy Grand Prior for Region IV. HE BG Rea went on to be elected Grand Prior of the United States. And in November, 2010, HE BG Rea was elected in Lisbon, Portugal, Grand Master of the worldwide Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem.
The Order was expanded first in Missouri. HE COL David N. Appleby, from Missouri, was recruited and appointed by HE Quandt to head the first Commandery. In three years, the Commandery was elevated to Priory status, and HE COL Appleby became the first Prior of the Priory of St. Louis the Crusader. HE COL Appleby went on to be elected a Grand Prior of the United States.
HE Quandt as Deputy Grand Prior-Region IV, appointed CAPT Charles Jindrich (USNR) of West Lafayette, to expand the Order and establish a Commandery in the State of Indiana. In 2010 and 2011, CAPT Jindrich held two major Investitures and Banquets on the Campus of Purdue University. In 2011 the Commandery of St. Mother Theodore Guerin was officially established by the Grand Prior of the United States. The Commandery of St. Mother Theodore Guerin is planning for its annual Investiture in late October, 2012.
The Priory of St. Norbert - Priors:
|HE Terrence J. Quandt 1996-1998||HE Randal Huizenga 2007-2008|
|HE BG Patrick E. Rea 1999-2000||Jean M. Kelm (Goulka) 2009-2010|
|HE Ronald S. Mangum 2001||Michael Levickas 2011-2012|
|HE COL David Seaman 2001-2002||Jeffrey Ficaro 2013-2015|
|HE Frederick Fedorchak 2003||Robert R. Goulka 2015-2017|
|HE Ronald Bacci 2003-2004||Steve Michaels 2017-2019|
|HSH Renate Windisch-Graetz 2005-2006|
ROYAL AND CLERIC RELATIONSHIPS
HE BG Patrick E. Rea, a Tinley Park Illinois native, played a significant role financially as well as in bridging the gap between faiths by bringing individuals together from all major creeds. As a result of HE BG Rea’s labors, the Priory of St. Norbert has been blessed over the years to work with many Royal Patrons and Clergy. Some of these are:
- King Peter, former King of Yugoslavia; the third and last King of Yugoslavia. King Peter was the eldest son of King Alexander I and Queen Maria (born Princess of Romania); his godfather was George V of the United Kingdom. King Peter joined the Order upon invitation from Grand Prior William Edelin in 1964.
- Royal Protector of the International Order: HRH Princess Elisabeth Zu Ysenburg und Büdingen; born a Princess of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, the eldest daughter of Prince Friedrich Ferdinand of Swleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg and his wife Duchess Anastasia of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Princess Elisabeth has made many trips to Tinley Park, sister city of Büdingen, Germany and formed many lasting relationships with Members of St. Norbert. Princess Elizabeth was invested in the Order in the Priory of St. Norbert. Both of Elisabeth’s sons, Johann Georg Prinz zu Isenburg-Budingen-Wachtersbach and Ludwig Ferdinand Prinz zu Isenburg-Budingen-Wachtersbach are members of the Priory of St. Norbert.
- His Highness Duke Alexander of Mecklenburg, Prince of Wenden, Schwerin and Ratzeburg; Count of Schwerin; Lord of the Lands of Rostock and Stargard; Prince of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. His Highness Duke Alexander of Mecklenburg is the elder son of Duke Borwin and Duchess Alice of Mecklenburg.
- HSH Princess Renate Zu Windisch-Graetz; former German Consul and wife of the Reverend Prince Arnold Windisch-Graetz, Priory of St. Norbert Chaplain and Deputy Grand Chaplain of the Grand Priory of the United States.
- Count Alexander Zu Reventlow, Danish Baron and current head of the OSMTH youth division.
- Baron Bernerd Frederick von Maydell of Germany. Baron von Maydell a German noble and Army Airborne officer; was the first European noble to join GPUSA after the late King Peter. He was very active in the early years of St. Norbert and helped make it possible for other nobles to join GPUSA.
- Rt. Rev. Dr. Munib A. Younan, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. Bishop Younan is the International Grand Chaplain for OSMTH.
- His Beatitude the Most Blessed THEODOSIUS, Metropolitan of the United States and Canada, has made many visits to the Priory of St. Norbert and participated in many of our Investitures.
- His Eminence Metropolitan CHRISTOPHER, the late Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church of the United States and Canada, and St. Norbert Member.
- His Grace Bishop Juan Cobrda the late Primate of the US and Canada for the Lutheran Slovakian Church. Bishop Cobrda was very active in St. Norbert, opened his Churches to the Priory and accompanied the OSMTH-I delegation to the United Nations in New York.
- His Eminence Archbishop JOB the late presiding Bishop for the US Midwest of the Orthodox Church of America (OCA). His Eminence was a very special friend of St. Norbert and GPUSA. He extended his apostolic blessing to GPUSA and actually accompanied our official delegation to Russia; he was also a Russian Archbishop.
- Reverend Canon Andrew White, the Archbishop of Cantebury’s representative to the Middle East and Vicar of the Anglican Church in Bagdad. Rev. White is a member of the Grand Priory in England and Whales, and a bridge builder between Muslims and Christians in the in the Middle East.