Rev. Frater Jordan Neeck is pictured with fellow Norbertine Jonathan Turba running the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 7 with Crossroads Runners charity program. The pair hosts the biweekly Norbertine podcast “Canons on the Run,” in which they share anecdotes from daily life and reflections on the faith. (Submitted photo)

Jenny Snarski
Catholic Herald Staff

The vocational journey continues for a Clear Lake woman and a Phillips man, both of whom will be taking final vows in their respective orders in the future.

Called to the cloister to pray for the world

As reported by the Catholic Herald in November 2014, Hillary Friendshuh, of Clear Lake, joined the cloistered Carmelite Monastery of the Holy Name in Denmark. The UW-Madison graduate took the name Sr. Teresita Marie of Jesus Crucified.

The Herald’s request for an interview received the Mother Prioriess’ response via email that, “due to the hidden nature of Sr. Teresita’s cloistered contemplative vocation,” she was unable to be contacted for this article.

Sr. Teresita is doing very well, the prioress added, and wrote, “She made her simple vows on the Feast of St. John of the Cross on Dec. 14, 2015, and is looking forward to making the definitive commitment of solemn vows sometime in the not-too-distant future.”

According to the monastery website,, the Carmelite nuns’ apostolate is prayer. This is lived out with a schedule consisting primarily of prayer with some hours of work interspersed. The nuns freely choose to live in the cloister for the rest of their lives, except for medical care or other serious reasons. This safeguards the atmosphere of silence and solitude needed for their contemplative vocation, “freeing her heart to unite more universally to her brothers and sisters around the world.”

While Carmelites belong to a global religious family, the Denmark monastery was founded by Carmelites from Grand Rapids, Michigan; their history dates back to the early 1900s, where sisters from Mexico fled for fear of their lives under anti-clerical laws. They were welcomed to Grand Rapids in 1916. A founding group arrived in the Diocese of Green Bay in 1992.

More information is available at

Called to preach through multiple means

Jordan Neeck, O.Praem., a Phillips native, professed his solemn vows with the Norbertine Order on Aug. 28 at St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere, after a five-year formative experience. O. Praem stands for Order of Canons Regular of Premontre.

On Aug. 29, Neeck was ordained to the transitional diaconate at St. Norbert Abbey by Green Bay Diocese’s Bishop David Ricken. He serves as deacon at Old St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on Chicago’s West Loop under Fr. Tom Hurley while he completes his final semester at Catholic Theological Union.

The Neeck family’s home parish is St. Therese in Phillips. Pastor Fr. Jerry Hagen attended Jordan’s ordination to the diaconate.

Neeck is an avid runner and has qualified to run the Boston Marathon in 2019. He trains with fellow Norbertine Jonathan Turba, with whom he also maintains a Catholic podcast that touches on the life of faith in everyday life and as the journey as a Norbertine.