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  • The Week Ends, the Week Begins We have had significantly cooler temperatures these past few days.  On Friday we had a high of only 54.  Saturday morning it was 36 degrees out, before warming up to 63. Fortunately the weekend was very sunny.  It made for excellent biking weather, and I spent every free moment on my bicycle, knowing that there ... Continue Reading...
  • Fall Monastic Experience Weekend The monks of Conception Abbey are hosting a Monastic Experience weekend this fall.  Experience Benedictine monastic life at Conception Abbey from October 31st to November 2nd.  Men between the ages of 18-35, who are considering a vocation to religious life, are invited for a discernment retreat.  This weekend will be an excellent opportunity to draw closer to God ... Continue Reading...
  • Volleyball Practice I am coaching the Seminary volleyball team again this year in preparation for our Seminary Soccer and Volleyball Tournament, a.k.a. “The Thunder Cup”.  The tournament takes place the weekend of October 18-19 and we invite several other seminaries to travel to Conception, Missouri to compete. Last year, our volleyball team improved immensely on my leadership, but ... Continue Reading...
  • 140 Years of Friendship This evening, the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration at Clyde, Missouri, invited the monks over to their monastery to celebrate 140 years since their founding.  The sisters’ community was founded in September 1874, while Conception Abbey was founded one year before in April 1873. The monks joined the sisters for Vespers at 5:00pm, followed by a ... Continue Reading...
  • Labor Day Weekend I was invited to help out with a Catholic young adult gathering at Lake Pomme de Terre, about four hours south of the monastery.  When I told people the name of the event, they just started laughing.  It was called “Nature’s Call.”  I’m sure the original campers had fun with coming up with the title. ... Continue Reading...
  • The Art of Lettering Br. Michael has been doing calligraphy for years. He has attended many workshops, taught classes on the art in the seminary, and giving calligraphy retreats. In early August, Br. Michael, had two calligraphy retreats- one for beginners and one for intermediate students. He weaved in the Benedictine practice of lectio divina into the lettering process. Continue Reading...
  • Funeral for Br. George Today, the monks of Conception Abbey celebrated the Mass of Christian Burial for our confrere, Br. George. Brother George Strohmeyer, O.S.B., monk of Conception Abbey, died Monday, 25 August 2014. He was 92 years old and had been a monk for 36 years. He was born on 20 June 1922 near Benoit, Wisconsin, to Engelbert and Frances ... Continue Reading...
  • First Day of Classes After several days of seminary student orientation, the first day of classes has arrived. Continue Reading...
  • Picture Time It is picture day and registration for the seminarians of Conception Seminary.  The early morning rain did not prevent the photographer from capturing their smiling faces.  This morning the men gathered in front of the Basilica in order to take the group photo.  Afterwards they took separate pictures based on Diocese or Religious Order. Loud noises from ... Continue Reading...
  • Beat the Heat It was a sweltering 90 degrees at the Abbey today.  Of course we have seen warmer, and during most summers, we would regard 90 as nothing special, but it has been a cooler summer, so it feels downright hot and humid today. Thunderstorms caused some havoc in the area, mainly with the electricity toward the end of ... Continue Reading...
  • Back to School The new seminarians arrived on Wednesday.  A small group of the returning seminarians were on hand to offer hospitality and assistance to the new students, as part of the Seminary Orientation Team.  The schedule has involved different conferences, introducing students to the various aspects of seminary formation, including academic, character, and spiritual formation.  The evening ... Continue Reading...
  • Monastic Experience Weekend This past weekend (August 15-17), we welcomed three men to the monastery for our “Monastic Experience.”  The weekend allows men who are considering a vocation to monastic life an opportunity to learn more about our way of life, join us for prayer, meals, work, and recreation.  Abbot Gregory and Br. Bernard (Novicemaster) both gave conferences ... Continue Reading...
  • Solemnity of the Assumption The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a very festive day for the monks of Conception Abbey.  In recent years and occasionally in the past, this is the day when novices make profession.  If Novice Eric and Joseph persevere, they will profess vows on this day in 2015. Here is a list of ... Continue Reading...
  • Entrance to the Novitiate Two men are received into the novitiate at Conception Abbey. Continue Reading...
  • Temporary Dining Room On Saturday evening, the monks began taking their meals in a new location. We had been eating in the seminarian dining room, but since many of the seminarians return in one week, we had to vacate their space and find our own new location. Obviously none of this would be an issue if the monastery ... Continue Reading...
  • Family Baptism I was able to go home for the weekend to baptize my niece. It was a pretty awesome experience and nice celebration.  Let us welcome our newest Christian! It is good to have some time away to enjoy the company of my family.  I also celebrated Mass and preached at my home parish and was able to ... Continue Reading...
  • Auction Time! The memories of moving out of the monastery this past May are still fresh on our minds. When the monks moved out of the monastery, they could put stickers on their belongings and mark it in one of three ways: Temporary Storage Long-term Storage (not accessible during renovation) Auction All the extra furniture, religious art, and other goods… It’s up ... Continue Reading...
  • Stanberry Parish Carnival Yesterday evening after prayer, Br. Maximilian and I headed over to St. Peter’s Parish Carnival in Stanberry, Missouri.  It is only a 9 mile drive.  One of our monks, Fr. Karl Barmann, is pastor of St. Peter’s and the annual carnival is a pretty big event.  The town has just over one thousand people, and ... Continue Reading...
  • Racing to the Wedding I’m in Maryville, Missouri today, just 18 miles from the Abbey on pastoral assignment.  While our Fr. Martin is on vacation and celebrating his 40th anniversary of priesthood in Alaska with some parishioners of St. Gregory Barbarigo parish, I am covering the wedding of Colby and Taylor Wiederholt.  This is my first wedding to officiate as ... Continue Reading...
  • Life in Christ I finally finished a little “music” video of the monks the other day and I posted it on our Facebook page and on our YouTube channel.  I was pleased with how it turned out.  So, if you did not see it there, I am posting it on the blog as well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNxZL-ZVUQI Continue Reading...

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