Order of Premontre, Premonstratensians, Norbertines, and White Canons

R. D. Cornelius J. Kirkfleet, O. Praem.

Birth: February 7, 1881

Death: December 3, 1947

House: St. Norbert Abbey

Our brother Cornelius Kirkfleet was born in Leyden, Holland in 1881. He began classes in Heeswijk in 1895, and joined the Order at Berne Abbey in 1900.  After his first year novitiate at Tongerlo, he immigrated to the United States in 1903, and was solemnly professed in 1905.

Cornelius spent from 1907 through 1908, enrolled at the preachers institute at Apostolic Mission House, in Washington, D.C., along with Fr. Gregory Rybrook.  During 1908-’09, he did practical mission preaching work in Pennsylvania and Louisiana .

In 1916, he published his first book entitled, The History of St. Norbert. For ten years, from 1918-1928, he was pastor in Maytown, Illinois before becoming pastor at St. John’s in Somonauk.

In 1942, he published his second book entitled, The White Canons of St. Norbert. Other books he published were, “The Life of Archbishop Feehan and The History of the Diocese of Rockford.

Cornelius became the pastor of St. Willibrord in Green Bay in July of 1947, and died of a heart attack on Sunday, December 3rd of that same year.  He was 66.

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