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Blog

  • The Archbishop and the House of Cards This week Fr. Jon Seda from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center on the campus of Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, brought four college students with him to stay at the Abbey for the week.  They are on their Spring Break and are experiencing monastic life.  On Monday, they prayed with the monks, met to discuss ... Continue Reading...
  • Weekend Activities It was a busy, but enjoyable weekend. Saturday was a beautiful day.  It was sunny and got up to 70 degrees.  I had Mass for the sisters at Our Lady of Rickenbach (Clyde), as the last Mass of the week for my pastoral assignment.  In the afternoon I visited with a group from St. John’s in ... Continue Reading...
  • Fun Times with Seminarians These past few mornings have been absolutely gorgeous.  I took this pictures on successive mornings, shortly after morning prayer, around 8:00am. I had to take promotional photos for upcoming publications, so I called on a group of seminarians to help out.  Seven very fun men showed up to take pictures for about 25 minutes on a ... Continue Reading...
  • Habemus Papam: One Year Later It is hard to believe that it was one year ago when white spoke came from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel and the bells were ringing.  I was finishing my last year of theology studies at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  I recall going to swim laps in their indoor pool, and returning ... Continue Reading...
  • Mass with the Sisters at OLR A monk-priest is assigned to be chaplain to the Sisters of Clyde every week.  One celebrates the Mass in the main chapel at 7:30am, and a different priest is assigned to Our Lady of Rickenbach (OLR), where their elderly and infirm sisters reside.  Mass at OLR is at 11:00am each day.  I am assigned to ... Continue Reading...
  • From Sunrise to Sunset Everyone had a strange feeling when they stepped outside this morning– it actually felt warm.  I know that “warm” is a relative term, but to be outside, see the glorious sunrise, and not have to wear a coat, how can you not raise your mind and heart to God? When I saw the temperature this afternoon, ... Continue Reading...
  • Out of the Frying Pan This posting was submitted by Fr. Guerric Letter, O.S.B., a monk of Conception Abbey.  Fr. Guerric has held several monastic job assignments, but he contributes this entry in his role as Kitchen Master. On June 1, 2013 I began my assignment as Kitchen Master for Conception Abbey.  Being just 31 years old, at the time, with ... Continue Reading...
  • Fridays of Lent The seminarians have been on retreat since Ash Wednesday, and it concludes late this afternoon with Evening Prayer.  I am sure it has been a fruitful retreat, but they are probably ready to break the silence. In the monastery, each Friday during Lent we observe fast days with no meat and simpler meals being served.  On ... Continue Reading...
  • Mardi Gras into Ash Wednesday Tuesday evening, Mardi Gras, the monks had their usual evening haustus with appetizers, beverages, and some extra treats.  It was an enjoyable festive meal before we begin Lent and take on special observances and penances.  After haustus, the card players were at their usual table enjoy some fraternity and a competitive game of Bridge. Below:  Postulant ... Continue Reading...
  • Library Book Sale The Conception Abbey and Seminary Library had a book sale Monday and Tuesday afternoon from 1:00-4:00pm. All the books were received from donations from monks, employees, and other friends. Br. Thomas said the book sale has been a great success, raising money that will benefit future improvements in the library. Seminarians gathered on both afternoons, ... Continue Reading...
  • Good Works and Preparing for Lent The Lenten seasons begins this week with Ash Wednesday.  Each year, in preparation for Lent, each monk of the community meets with the Abbot to submit his “bona opera” (good works).  The bona opera is a list of three things that the monk has prayerfully decided to do for Lent.  Usually these works correspond to ... Continue Reading...
  • Receiving a New Postulant! It is always a great joy to our community to receive a new postulant.  On this cold morning on the first day of March, it was with warm and grateful hearts that Joseph Fussner of Brookville, Indiana, entered our community. The ceremony for entering the postulancy is fairly simple.  As Abbey Vocation Director, I accompanied Joseph ... Continue Reading...
  • Seminarian Dodgeball Tournament The seminarians showed up in droves for the Dodgeball Tournament. Organized by a group of seminarians, I had the privilege of reffing this tournament that involved high power competition and pleasant reprieve from the cold winter weather.  I offered to referee and give direction on how to organize the tournament since I have had past ... Continue Reading...
  • Planned Giving Seminar If blog activity seemed quiet these last few days, there is good reason for it. On Monday, I traveled to the National Catholic Planned Giving Seminar.  I needed some more experience in my assignment as Director of Planned Giving and thought this would be a good opportunity for continuing education.  Additionally, I was attracted to ... Continue Reading...
  • Taking the Polar Bear Plunge It was 30 degrees outside and partly cloudy. What would possess otherwise rational and clear thinking men to break ice with an axe and plunge into freezing cold water? I’m not exactly sure why, but the Conception Seminary Polar Bear Club tradition lives on. As a seminarian, I recall participating in the event two out ... Continue Reading...
  • The Strange Weather Continues The strange weather continues, varying from rather pleasant with a hint of spring, to rain, thunder, snow, sleet, and hail.  I do not think the weather can make up its mind.  However, like many things in life, it is something we certainly cannot control, so we make the best with what are given. The following pictures ... Continue Reading...
  • Archbishop Rino Fisichella Visits Conception Abbey Today Archbishop Fisichella, the President of the Pontifical Council on the New Evangelization visited Conception Abbey and presided at Eucharist.  In his homily, Archbishop focused on Christ’s question from the Gospel reading:  “But who do you say that I am?”  He spoke of the importance of our total and complete proclamation that Jesus is “the ... Continue Reading...
  • Building Bonds through Teamwork and Faith As mentioned about one week ago, KQ2 News did a three part segment on Conception Seminary’s basketball team.  I enjoyed making videos and thought they did a very fine job putting it all together. You can view the third installment here, or see the previous blog post with the first two parts here. Continue Reading...
  • Melting the Snow Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day– a great day to take pictures. Today will be the same, and maybe even a little warmer. I am hoping that I might be able to get outside on the bike this afternoon for the first time this year. Today the weather is looking promising.  It is 46 just before ... Continue Reading...
  • Weekend Mission A great part of being a monk and a priest is being sent out “on mission” to minister to a variety of parishes on the weekend.  Sunday morning I departed the Abbey at 6:30am to drive to Hamilton (70 miles), then on to Gallatin (15 more miles) (see map below). The parishioners at Sacred Heart were ... Continue Reading...

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