Prior’s Journal

Donor Spotlights

Loyal friends make impact Though the landscape and the faces of Conception have changed over time, we are grateful for that which has remained the same: our mission of prayer, our dedication to seminary formation, and the loyal support of friends who have made such growth possible.  Jim and Marnie Weidmaier of St. Joseph, Missouri,…

Farm Venture Proves Fruitful

By the Work of Their Hands Br. Jacob Kubajak, OSB, wasn’t born on a farm, but his mother’s family farmed, and as a kid when they visited, he would help his uncles with various tasks around the farm, which first sparked his interest in agriculture. When he went off to college years later, he pursued…

Journey to our Motherhouse

In 2020, Abbot Gregory Polan and I planned to lead a group of pilgrims to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the founding of our Swiss motherhouse, Engelberg Abbey, to visit several other monasteries in Switzerland and Germany, and to attend the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany, which is only performed every 10 years. The pandemic…

Conception blesses new seminary residence hall

The monks and seminarians of Conception Abbey and Seminary College, joined together with friends, family, and donors to bless Good Shepherd Hall, the new seminary residence hall.   The building’s blessing was Sunday, August 28, as part of Conception’s Seminary Open House event, where nearly 300 people gathered under a large white tent for a…

Br. Simeon, OSB, professes solemn vows

On Monday, August 15, 2022, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Br. Simeon Johnson, OSB, professed solemn vows as a monk of Conception Abbey in the presence of his family, friends, seminarians, and monastic confreres. In the ceremony, Br. Simeon made the perpetual commitment to live as a monk of Conception’s…

Column of Fire

Column of Fire began as an assignment for one of my art classes at the neighboring university and quickly became a community project and event, culminating on the last day of the school year at Conception Seminary College. My assignment was to take found material at a specific site and transform it into a three-dimensional…

Brothers Living in Unity campaign has less than $1 million to goal

CONCEPTION, Mo. (August 11, 2022) – The leadership at Conception Abbey and Seminary College are happy to share another milestone in the Brothers Living in Unity campaign. They have passed the halfway mark of their $2.5-million signature-phase goal (part of an overall $17-million campaign goal) and are down to the final $900,000 left to raise.…

Digital Discernment

New approach for those considering monastic life   Discerning a vocation to any state in life can be difficult, especially if you try to do it alone. Discerning a monastic vocation presents a unique challenge. Can I discern this way of life and understand it without spending considerable time at the monastery? This question is…

Mother of the Church

Mary’s Role at Pentecost On March 3, 2018, Pope Francis declared that on the Monday following Pentecost Sunday, the Church would celebrate the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, “Mother of the Church.” The passage the evangelist Luke used to describe the first community of Jerusalem in the Book of Acts mentions the presence of…

Time for Renewal

  As a complete retreat center, Conception’s Abbey Guest Center offers spiritual renewal and Benedictine hospitality. Throughout the year, the Abbey Guest Center sponsors a variety of monk-guided spiritual and religious-themed retreats, workshops, and days of recollection. Many retreatants return frequently for guided retreats to stay grounded in their faith throughout the year. These retreatants…