DE PERE – Abbot Dane J. Radecki of St. Norbert Abbey, with the support of the Norbertine community, has announced the appointment of the Fr. Bradley R. Vanden Branden as prior of the community of St. Norbert Abbey, effective June 16.
The role of prior is that of a religious superior and vicar of the abbot. In the absence of the abbot, he functions with full authority. The prior’s position is primarily pastoral in nature, reaching out to those who serve and live within the Norbertine context and ministering to them on a one-to-one basis. He also represents the abbot and community at religious and civic events, meetings and celebrations.
Fr. Vanden Branden, son of Joan and Tom Vanden Branden, is a native of De Pere and lifelong member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. He is a graduate of West De Pere High School (2005) and St. Norbert College (2009). Fr. Vanden Branden earned master’s degrees in divinity and theology (liturgy) from Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Fr. Vanden Branden served as deacon at St. Ann Parish in Lansing, Ill., and was ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 2016.
He served as chaplain at Notre Dame de la Baie Academy, Green Bay, where he also taught theology, and as a sacramental minister at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. He currently is a member of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission.
Fr. Vanden Branden succeeds Fr. James Baraniak, who served as prior to the Norbertine community since June 2013.