Abbot Eugene Hayes
Abbot Eugene Joseph Hayes was born in 1951 in Brooklyn, New York, the second of six children. He attended the preparatory high school seminary for the Diocese of Brooklyn and also its college-seminary. In 1973 Eugene Hayes joined the Norbertine Fathers at St. Michael’s in Orange County.
After his ordination to the priesthood in 1977, Fr. Eugene continued the Norbertine tradition of teaching. A decade later and with a doctoral degree in canon law, Fr. Eugene was elected to help the Norbertine Order on the international level. He moved to Rome, Italy and worked closely with officials in Vatican City on behalf of Norbertines from around the world.
In June 1995 Fr. Eugene was elected by his confreres as Abbot of St. Michael’s Abbey. He continues this task to today. Currently, Abbot Eugene’s focus is building a new abbey monastery and church necessitated by the growth of the community from the original seven founding fathers to now almost 80 members of which 34 are seminarians. This building project is an important milestone in Catholic Church history for Southern California.