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Blog

  • New Year’s Day The monks’ Christmas celebrations continued as we opened the New Year with the Universal Church by honoring the feast of Mary, Mother of God. New Year’s Eve in the monastery was fairly quiet, and I doubt that any of the monks stayed up until midnight to welcome in the New Year. The Prior, Fr. Daniel, had ... Continue Reading...
  • Goodbye 2013 The monks spent the past 24 hours on a Day of Recollection.  For me, the end of the calendar year is a time to reflect upon the blessings of 2013, and there were many.  I am grateful for the friends and family who have shown me such great kindness and support throughout the year.  I will ... Continue Reading...
  • Family Visits Happy Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph! During these days of Christmas, many of the families of the monks have been visiting the Abbey and staying in our guesthouses. Do the monks get to visit their families often? Friends and family members are welcome to visit at almost any time during the year, but ... Continue Reading...
  • Christmas Vespers http://youtu.be/vjkT9ArHEoY Many people are interested in hearing the monks chant the Divine Office. I recorded Solemn Vespers II on Christmas Day. Continue Reading...
  • Feast of St. Stephen Today is the Feast of St. Stephen, which is Br. Etienne’s Namesday. “Etienne” is French name for “Stephen.” It was a big month for Br. Etienne (and his beard), as he made solemn vows on December 15th, and now celebrates the feast of his heavenly patron. I asked Br. Etienne to respond to several questions ... Continue Reading...
  • Shepherds at the Crib http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQfxtRk1Ryw A long Abbey tradition of playing this piece after Compline on Christmas Day. Enjoy! Merry Christmas. Continue Reading...
  • Christmas Blessings May the Joy of Christ dwell in your heart this holy season and throughout the year! The monks had beautiful Christmas celebrations, beginning with First Vespers, followed by a banquet in the monastery refectory.  A fun monastery tradition is that we ring all five bells in the tower for fifteen minutes before Christmas Vigils at 7:45pm.  Many ... Continue Reading...
  • Deck the Halls Outside, the snow covers the rolling hills.  If you were hoping for a white Christmas, you got it.  Inside, the monks are preparing for the Nativity of the Lord.  Much preparation from many hands goes into putting together a beautiful and festive Christmas celebration.  It takes help from musicians (the organists and choir), monks to ... Continue Reading...
  • Braving the Weather I woke up this morning to find 9 inches of snow had fallen. Snow is always nice to look at, but not so nice if you have to travel. That was the case for me this morning. I was assigned to celebrate Mass at two different parish in the St. Joseph area (normally a 45 ... Continue Reading...
  • Be Joyful The monastic life requires sacrifice.  But, in the midst of the things that a monk offers up in order to follow Christ in our Benedictine way of life, there are many blessings.  Everyone is susceptible to a myopic viewpoint only seeing the frustrations of life, and then falling into a habit of complaining and being ... Continue Reading...
  • Employee Christmas Party Each year the employees of Conception Abbey, Conception Seminary College, and the Printery House gather together for a Christmas Luncheon.  It is an enjoyable time to relax with good food, refreshments, and great company, and look back on how God has blessed our community.  We are grateful to our employees for their hard work and ... Continue Reading...
  • With Gratitude Cindy Staten, our faithful Associate Director of Development, is retiring this Friday after seventeen and a half years of service to the Abbey.  Everyone who has worked with Cindy knows her to be hard working, dedicated, dependable, and just a pleasant person to be around.  She has worked in the Development Office throughout the years ... Continue Reading...
  • O Antiphons The monks gather in the Basilica five times a day to pray for the Church and the world.  During this season of Advent, we have been preparing ourselves for Christ’s Coming at Christmas.  As Christmas approaches, the monks take part in the Church’s long tradition of the “O Antiphons.”  The O Antiphons are ancient liturgical ... Continue Reading...
  • What’s for dinner? Many people are surprised when they find out that the monks eat almost all of their meals in silence.  Okay, maybe they are just surprised to hear that I do not talk during meals.  My experience has been that even when you are not talking with the people around you at meals, there is still ... Continue Reading...
  • Frost A dense fog and a bit of moisture rolled in this morning, creating havoc for travelers, but beautiful sights for photographers. He showers down snow like wool; he scatters hoarfrost like ashes. -Psalm 147:16 Continue Reading...
  • 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 ... Continue Reading...
  • Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe There is a great benefit to operating a seminary that is culturally diverse. Not only are we able to learn more about other cultures, but we get to celebrate more as well!  The diversity of the seminarians are only a reflection of the variety of races and cultures of the people who live in the ... Continue Reading...
  • Winter Weather The white, powdery snow has fallen and given our campus a new look. The sun continues to cast those long shadows across the ground.  I bundled up in my warmest clothes and took these pictures on a stroll around campus yesterday afternoon.  May we recognize God’s beauty in creation, and God’s goodness in all things. ... Continue Reading...
  • A Visit to our Neighbors I am assigned for the week as the chaplain to the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, in Clyde, Missouri.  Each week a different priest from the Abbey is assigned to celebrate the morning Eucharist in their main chapel.  It is just a short two-mile drive over to the Sisters’ monastery, but this week the weather ... Continue Reading...
  • Immaculate Conception Today the monks of Conception Abbey celebrate their patronal feast day.  Normally celebrated on December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was transferred to December 9, since in the Church’s Liturgical Calendar, yesterday was the Second Sunday of Advent.  Yesterday marks 140 years of the founding of Conception Abbey, ... Continue Reading...

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