Around 1138 the Augustinian canons living in Steinfeld adopted the rule of the order of Premonstratensian canons founded in Prémontré in France in 1121. The order was founded by St. Norbert von Xanten, later Archbishop of Magdeburg. Soon after it was founded, the new religious community spread throughout Europe, and later also in America, Africa, India and Australia.
The focus of the Premonstratensians is community and pastoral care, especially parish pastoral care. The Steinfeld canons practiced this over the centuries, especially in the wide region around Steinfeld.
In its heyday the order had more than 600 independent monasteries. After almost complete collapse due to the Reformation, secularization and communism, the order has recently been able to revive itself.
The Premonstratensians were active in Steinfeld until the monastery was dissolved during secularization in 1802. The last abbot Gilbert Surges then became the first vicar of Steinfeld.
The upper picture on this page shows the so-called Premonstratensian statues with the three founders of Steinfeld Abbey.