Various monks respond to the question, "What is the greatest blessing of monastic life?"
Video: Christmas Vespers II
Merry Christmas (video)
Merry Christmas from the monks of Conception Abbey.
Enjoy this video of Abbot Gregory performing "Shepherds at the Crib," a community tradition after Compline on Christmas Day.
Video: O Antiphons
Conception Abbey begins the O Antiphons on December 17
The video shows Advent Vespers at Conception Abbey, focusing on the first O Antiphon: "O Wisdom." They are referred to as the "O Antiphons" because the title of each one begins with the interjection "O". Each antiphon is a name of Christ, one of his attributes mentioned in Scripture.
Fr. Joachim Schieber passes away
Fr. Joachim Schieber, O.S.B., a Benedictine priest of Conception Abbey, died at 5:25 a.m. on Tuesday, December 17, 2013. Fr. Joachim was the oldest monk of the Abbey. He professed vows on August 30, 1939, and was ordained to the priesthood on September 23, 1944. He was the last monk to have ever met our founding Abbot, Abbot Frowin Conrad. Eternal rest grant unto him O' Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, 17 December 2013, as the monastic community of Conception Abbey prepared for the singing of the office of Vigils, our beloved confrere, Father Joachim Schieber, O.S.B., surrendered to His maker the burdens of his earthly existence and passed into the realms of light. The senior member of our community at 94 years of age, Father Joachim had been a monk for 74 of those years and a priest for 69. Though he had resided in our Saint Stephen’s Health Care Center for many years, he remained vital, active and interested in the life of his community, the wider Church and the world at large, right up to his final days. Father Joachim presented a somewhat gruff exterior to those who were not familiar with him, and indeed, possessed an almost legendary reputation for sternness (deriving from his days as a seminary prefect in the 1940s). But none who came to know him could fail to discern, after even the briefest of contacts, the abiding warmth of heart and kindness of spirit that characterized his treatment of others.
Andrew Aloysius Schieber was born on 4 January 1919, youngest of the eleven children of John and Frances (Kern) Schieber. Baptized at Saint Benedict’s Parish Church in Clyde by the Rev. Frowin Mergen, a monk of Conception, the future Father Joachim was raised on the family farm near Clyde, Missouri, just a few miles from the abbey. Living “just around the corner and over the hill” from Conception, he came to know and love the monastic community and its works from an early age. After public grade school and parochial high school in Clyde, Andrew entered the junior college at Conception Abbey in 1936. In 1938 he entered the monastic novitiate and professed first monastic vows the next year. Upon completion of theological studies, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Charles LeBlond on 23 September 1944.
A complete list of Father Joachim’s assignments through so many years of devoted monastic observance and priestly ministry would overflow this account, so an abbreviated narrative must suffice. His early years in the community were given to service in the seminary as professor, prefect and a term as vice rector. During this period he also earned a master’s degree in History from The Catholic University of America. He then took up responsibilities at the high school of Mount Michael Priory, our daughterhouse near Omaha, Nebraska, serving in capacities similar to those he had exercised at our seminary here at Conception. He went on to minister as chaplain to the Sisters at Saint Michael’s Convent in Sturgis, South Dakota, for six years (1958-64). Returning to Conception, he served as Director of Development for two years, after which he entered a long stint of parochial ministry, first as pastor of Saint Aloysius Parish in Kansas City (1966-72), then as pastor of Saint Bernard’s in McLaughlin, South Dakota, ministering to the Native Americans on the Standing Rock Reservation there from 1974 to 1989.
At this point Father Joachim, upon the occasion of his Golden Jubilee of profession, was given permission to return to his academic interest in the field of history, being granted a sabbatical year for study and research in the Schieber Family genealogical history. The result of this year’s investigation was A Schieber Family Research Journal: From Conception, Missouri and Cascade, Iowa in America to Sandweiler, Luxembourg in Europe, gathered and published principally for family members, but nonetheless an exemplary exercise in the now-burgeoning field of genealogical research.
After his sabbatical, Father Joachim returned to pastoral ministry, accepting an assignment as Pastoral Administrator of Saint Joseph’s Parish in Trenton, Missouri. After two years there, he was transferred to Saint Mary’s Hospital in Blue Springs, Missouri, as chaplain, and then a year as chaplain of Marian Acres, a retirement home in Salem, Missouri. His advancing years finally required his return to Conception, where he took up residence in our Saint Stephen’s Health Care Center, where he came to be a source of constant and prayerful support for his large family, his many friends beyond the monastery walls, and his brother monks.
Though his life was most obviously given to the many forms of pastoral service that he took on, Father Joachim remained quietly proud of his academic achievements in the field of history. His master’s thesis on Father James Power and the founding community of the original Conception Colony had made such a positive impression upon the faculty at The Catholic University of America that he was offered a scholarship to remain and continue his studies. But knowing that his call was to monastic obedience in serving the people of God, he returned to the monastery to do just that. Many parishioners and friends are glad and grateful that he did so. Father Joachim’s later years were blessed with a sort of “new spring,” in which he found unexpected spiritual refreshment in the Catholic Charismatic Movement. This experience gave him a new mode of outreach to others who also shared in the joy of intense awareness of the movement of the Holy Spirit in their own lives and the life of the Church. Without doubt the monastic community has benefitted greatly from this element of Father Joachim’s spiritual life: many of his charismatic friends have become good friends of Conception Abbey as well. His life was truly given to the will of God and the service of the Church; may he enter into the kingdom of the blessed to hear the Savior’s welcome, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Father Joachim was preceded in death by his parents and all but one of his siblings; he is survived by his monastic confreres, by his sister, Sister Mauricita Schieber of Mount Saint Scholastica Convent in Atchison, Kansas, and by numerous nieces and nephews.
Vespers of the Faithful Departed were prayed at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, 20 December 2013, and Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, 21 December 2013. We commend our beloved confrere to your prayerful remembrance. May his soul rest in peace.
Video: Meals in the Monastery
Abbot Gregory describes how St. Benedict desired the monks to take their meals accompanied by reading.
Br. Etienne Professes Solemn Vows
Today, in the presence of his family, friends, seminarians, and his monastic confreres, Br. Etienne Huard professed solemn vows as a monk of Conception Abbey. In the ceremony, Br. Etienne made a perpetual commitment to live as a monk of our monastery, vowing obedience, stability, and conversion of life. As you can imagine, this is an absolutely joyful occasion in the life of Br. Etienne, the monastic community, and the entire Church. Such an event is very fitting on this Sunday, since the universal Church celebrates “Gaudete” Sunday, which means “Rejoice!”
The CalebCare program is a new take on the traditional "Get Well Soon" card; it is for the terminally or progressively ill. It is in these cases that a traditional "Get Well Soon" card is not always appropriate. This new initiative by The Printery House seeks to provide courage to those going through difficult times. When you know someone who is dealing with a terminal or progressive illness you want to help and let them know that you care, however, it is often difficult to find the right words for such an occasion. That is what The Printery House is trying to achieve with the CalebCare program.
Recently, a young man named Caleb from the local area lost his battle with cancer. The Printery House encouraged the community to send cards of encouragement to him during that fight. Many cards were sent including a box from our seminarians’ right here on campus. While this program is still in its early stages of development it seems that the CalebCare program will be a great source of comfort, filling an area of great need.
Please visit The Printery House website, www.printeryhouse.org, regularly to check on the status of the CalebCare program.
Video: What is a monk?
The monks of Conception Abbey share their thoughts on a question that we receive regularly: What is a monk?
Video: Lectio Divina
The monks of Conception Abbey made a video describing the monastic practice of Lectio Divina.
The Printery House Celebrates 60 Years!
The Printery House is one of Conception Abbey's many apostolates, and this year they're celebrating 60 years of spreading the word through Christian greeting cards and gifts. To learn more about The Printery House and their work watch the video above or click here, Gospel and Greeting Cards, to read their recent article in Rural Missourian!
Photo of the Day
Photo of the Day
Each day the monks of Conception Abbey upload a "Photo of the Day" to the Abbey's Facebook page.
Oblates of Conception Abbey join us in welcoming Fr. Albert as your new Oblate Director.
Conception Abbey and Seminary College Hosts Weekend Camp
June 14-16, 2013
Junior high and high school boys participated in a multitude of team building activities and games during the annual Companion Camp. A record number nineteen high school students assisted as part of this year's camp staff, as they arrived on Thursday, June 13th, a day earlier in order to prepare for the weekend campers. Fr. Paul Sheller served as Camp Director alongside Novice Jonathan Pund, this year's Camp Co-Director. Seminarians and monks worked as team leaders and planned the numerous activities ranging from the ever favorite dodgeball, to relay races, water balloon toss and fight, Nerf gun battles, and a number of ice breaker activities and group and individual games. In the calmer moments, all gathered for morning and evening prayer, culminating in a Holy Hour and Reconcilation service on Saturday evening. This year's campers traveled largely from the Dioceses of Dodge City, Kansas and Grand Island, Nebraska. The annual camp aims to promote greater Catholic identity among young people through fellowship and fun, and to provide more awareness for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. While it was an action-packed and exhausting weekend for those in charge, the campers enjoyed every moment of it and were already commenting, "We cannot wait until next year!"
Priesthood Ordination 2013
Two Monks Ordained to the Priesthood
On Thursday evening, May 16th, Father Victor Schinstock and Father Paul Sheller were ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Jerome Hanus, O.S.B. Fr. Victor completed his theological studies in preparation for the priesthood at St. Meinrad Seminary. Fr. Paul graduated on May 10th from St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Family, friends, and the monastic community gathered in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception for the joyful occasion. Please continue to pray for vocations.
Pictured above: Father Victor, Abbot Gregory, Archbishop Jerome, Abbot Marcel, Father Paul
Pictured Above: Father Victor and his parents
Pictured Above: Father Paul blesses his parents
Diaconate Ordination 2013
Brother Macario Ordained a Deacon
On Wednesday evening, May 15th, Brother Macario was ordained to the diaconate by Archbishop Jerome Hanus. During the summer he will serve at St. Peter's Church in Stanberry, Missouri.
The Fall-Winter 2012 Issue of Tower Topics is Here!
O God, who in the glorious Transfiguration of your Only Begotten Son confirmed the mysteries of faith by the witness of the Fathers and wonderfully prefigured our full adoption to sonship, grant, we pray, to your servants, that, listening to the voice of your beloved Son, we may merit to become co-heirs with him. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
August 5th: 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Draw near to your servants, O Lord, and answer their prayers with unceasing kindness, that, for those who glory in you as their Creator and guide, you may restore what you have created and keep safe what you have restored. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
O God, who show the light of your truth to those who go astray, so that they may return to the right path, give all who for the faith they profess are accounted Christians the grace to reject whatever is contrary to the name of Christ and to strive after all that does it honor. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
July 11th: Our Blessed Father Saint Benedict
O God, who made the Abbot Saint Benedict an outstanding master in the school of divine service, grant, we pray, that, putting nothing before love of you, we may hasten with a loving heart in the way of your commands. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
July 8th: 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time
O God, who in the abasement of your Son have raised up a fallen world, fill your faithful with holy joy, for on those you have rescued from slavery to sin you bestow eternal gladness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
June 24th: Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that your family may walk in the way of salvation and, attentive to what Saint John the Precursor urged, may come safely to the One he foretold, our Lord Jesus Christ. Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
June 23rd: Tractor Cruise
On Saturday, June 23rd Conception Abbey hosted a morning break for the 7th Annual Heart of America Tractor Club Cruise. The cruise began and ended on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville and traveled through the communities of Bedford, Conception, Guilford, Barnard and Maryville. The funds raised by this year's cruise went to support the Muscular Dystrophy Camp, Camp Encourage, the Special Olympics and the Abrielle Neff Foundation. To view more photos from the tractor cruise, click here.
June 20th: Br. George's Birthday
On Wednesday, June 20th we celebrated Br. George's 90th Birthday. There was a small party held in St. Stephen's Health Center with cake and punch. Happy Birthday Br. George! To view more photos of Br. George's birthday party,click here.
June 17th: 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time
O God, strength of those who hope in you, graciously hear our pleas, and, since without you mortal frailty can do nothing, grant us always the help of your grace, that in following your commands we may please you by our resolve and our deeds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Companion Camp 2012
Companion Camp 2012 was a success! The weekend long camp for junior high aged youth focuses on fun, faith and fellowship and is hosted right here on the campus of Conception Abbey & Seminary College. To view more photos from the 2012 Companion Camp weekend, click here.
June 15th: Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we, who glory in the Heart of your beloved Son and recall the wonders of his love for us, may be made worthy to receive an overflowing measure of grace from that fount of heavenly gifts. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
June 11th: Camp Quality
On Monday, June 11th twelve Conception Abbey employees volunteered at Northwest Missouri's Camp Quality, a camp for kids with cancer. The group worked in the kitchen to prepare, serve and cleanup breakfast and lunch for the campers, their helpers and the camp staff. The abbey group enjoyed helping out and hope to be able to do the same again next year. To view more photos from the abbey's volunteer day at Camp Quality, click here.
June 3rd: Solemnity of The Most Holy Trinity
God our Father, who by sending into the world the Word of truth and the Spirit of sanctification made known to the human race your wondrous mystery, grant us, we pray, that in profession the true faith, we may acknowledge the Trinity of eternal glory and adore your Unity, powerful in majesty. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
May 31st: The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Almighty ever-living God, who, while the Blessed Virgin Mary was carrying your Son in her womb, inspired her to visit Elizabeth, grant us, we pray, that, faithful to the promptings of the Spirit, we may magnify your greatness with the Virgin Mary at all times. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
May 28th: Memorial Day
Today we pray for and remember all the men and women of the armed forces who have died protecting our freedoms. God bless them, God bless America.
May 27th: Pentecost Sunday
Almighty ever-living God, who willed the Paschal Mystery to be encompassed as a sign in fifty days, grant that from out of the scattered nations the confusion of many tongues may be gathered by heavenly grace into one great confession of your name. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
May 20th: The Ascension of Our Lord
Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God, and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving, for the Ascension of Christ your Son is our exaltation, and, where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
May 17th: Br. Guerric Ordained Priest
Congratulations to the newly ordained priest of our monastic community, Fr. Guerric Letter, OSB! Fr. Guerric was ordained on Thursday, May 17th by Bishop Robert Finn in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Ut In Omnibus Glorificetur Deus. To view more photos from Fr. Guerric's ordination, click here.
May 16th: Brothers Paul & Victor Ordained Deacons
Congratulations to our Brothers Paul Sheller and Victor Schinstock who were ordained deacons on Wednesday, May 16th in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Ut In Omnibus Glorificetur Deus. To view more photos from the ordination, click here.
May 12th: CSC's Graduating Class of 2012
Congratulations to Conception Seminary College's graduating class of 2012! A commencement ceremony was held at 3:00 pm on Saturday, May 12th in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
- Thirteen received their Bachelor of Arts - David Matthew Baunach Shaun Christopher Cieslik Joshua James Duncan Justin Michael Gengler Frank Tuan Le, CMC Brent Jacob Lehman Agustin de Jesus Martinez Delgado Jahuann (Br. John) Chia McKenzie, OSB Barnabas Anh-Khai Nguyen T. Grant Timothy Schneider Thomas Robert Skinner Michael Alan Thiel Andrew Richard Williams
- Two who will be receiving their Bachelor of Arts upon completing their work this summer - Andrew John Kinstetter Juan Manuel Salas Alanis
- Three received their Bachelor of Philisophical and Theological Studies - Andrew John Galles Mark Michael Seeger Grant Michael Spinhirne
To view more photos from the 2012 Commencement Ceremony,click here.
Congratulations to our LCC Seminarians
Congratulations to our LCC, Language, Culture and Church, seminarians who received certificates for completing their English studies. Great job guys!
May 6th: 5th Sunday of Easter
Almighty ever-living God, constantly accomplish the Paschal Mystery within us, that those you were pleased to make new in Holy Baptism may, under your protective care, bear much fruit and come to the joys of life eternal. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
May 6th: St. Gabriel Guesthouse Dedication
On Sunday, May 6th we held the dedication ceremony for the blessing of our new guesthouse, St. Gabriel Guesthouse. To view more photos from the dedication, click here.
May 4th: Grotto Procession
On Friday, May 4th some of the Conception's faculty, staff, seminarians, monks and employees processed out to the Blessed Virgin Shrine at the south boundary line of the Monastery on Maryknoll. The shrine, or grotto, was recently repaired by seminarians along with Br. Placid. This remodel project, headed up by Wichita seminarian Kyle Dugan, was started by former seminarian, Alan Brown, who passed away while studying here at Conception in 2009. A plaque was added to grotto in Alan's honor. To view more photos, click here.
May 3rd: Feast of Saints Philip and James
O God, who gladden us each year with the feast day of the Apostles Philip and James, grant us, through their prayers, a share in the Passion and Resurrection of your Only Begotten Son, so that we may merit to behold you for eternity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. (photo: the saints' tomb)
April 29th: 4th Sunday of Easter
Almighty ever-living God, lead us to a share in the joys of heaven, so that the humble flock may reach where the brave Shepherd has gone before. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. (icon: fr pachomius, osb)
April 25th: St. Mark the Evangelist
O God, who raised up Saint Mark, your Evangelist, and endowed him with the grace to preach the Gospel, grant, we pray, that we may so profit from his teaching as to follow faithfully in the footsteps of Christ. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
April 22nd: 3rd Sunday of Easter
May your people exult forever, O God, in renewed youthfulness of spirit, so that, rejoicing now in the restored glory of our adoption, we may look forward in confident hope to the rejoicing of the day of resurrection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Ad Multos Annos. Happy 7th Anniversary Holy Father!
April 16th: Ad Multos Annos
Ad multos annos. Happy 85th Birthday Holy Father!
April 15th: Divine Mercy Sunday
God of everlasting mercy, who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast kindle the faith of the people you have made your own, increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed, that all may grasp and rightly understand in what font they have been washed, by whose Spirit they have been reborn, by whose Blood they have been redeemed. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. (icon: fr. pachomius, osb)