Fr. Norbert Schappler, OSB | 70 years ordained
We give thanks to God for Fr. Norbert’s many years as a priest of our Lord Jesus Christ. As the oldest and most senior in the community, he deserves our respect and praise. Living with and learning from him in my few years, I see three “platinum” threads: his dogged fidelity to the monastic life; his meticulous care for books, art, and genealogy; and his responsible service to the people of God.
Ordained in 1952, he has dedicated most of his life to God as a monk and a priest, serving the Church in many wonderful ways. Art—and life—he says, is not about us; rather, it is about glorifying God. He is a monk, through and through. A good steward of the gifts God has given him, he continues to run the race well at 96 years old; he continues to keep the faith. May God bless him now and forever!
— Br. Luke Kral, OSB
Fr. Daniel Petsche, OSB | 60 years professed
Fr. Daniel was born on a family farm near Harlan, Iowa. Early in life he felt a call to priesthood and religious life and so ventured as a young man of 14 to Conception, where he began his high school seminary education. Entering the novitiate of the Abbey in 1961, he made first profession of vows one year later, after which followed more years of training and formation, culminating in his ordination to the priesthood in 1967.
Well prepared for a lifetime of ministry and service, Fr. Daniel has through the years been an associate pastor, pastor, novice and juniormaster for young monks, manager of the Abbey’s farm, dean of students in the seminary college, director of the oblate program, retreat master, and more. Through all these years of varied and demanding assignments, his star has shone brightly by the consistency and integrity of a monastic and priestly life well lived—a blessing to our community and to all those whose lives he has touched.
— Br. Bernard Montgomery, OSB
Fr. Roger Schmit, OSB | 60 years ordained
As a monk and priest of Conception Abbey, Fr. Roger has served our community and the wider Church in numerous ways. In his many ministries, he has been a wise and trusted confidant, spiritual director, and mentor for many.
At the abbey, early in his priesthood, he was novice and juniormaster, and involved in retreat work. Currently he is the director of the Abbey Guest Center.
His ministry extended to work in several parishes in several dioceses near and far. One in particular stands out, namely his 12 years as pastor of the St. Paul Newman Center Parish in Laramie, Wyoming. During those years, the parish and student communities flourished together. He also served in a number of parishes in the Kansas City area and as a hospital chaplain.
Fr. Roger is remembered by many alumni as Dean of Students at Conception Seminary College from the mid 70s through the mid 80s, where he was a pioneer in establishing the seminary’s character formation program, what is now known in the world of seminary formation as “human formation.” He is revered as a “faithful and prudent servant” (Lk 12:42).
— Fr. Peter Ullrich, OSB
Abbot Edmund Boyce | 60 years ordained
Stationed at our daughterhouse in Benet Lake, Wisconsin, I like to think of Abbot Edmund, who originated in St. Helena’s Parish, Philadelphia, as conveying among us a missionary spirit. After entrance into monastic life in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1962, he served the Benedictine missionary efforts as manager of the Benet Lake Press, editor of the monastery’s publication, News & Views, and after short terms as subprior and prior he then went on to be a missionary at the Morelia, Mexico monastery. He returned in 1980 to take over as mission liaison, treasurer and maintenance superintendent at the Abbey. Becoming prior at Benet Lake in 1985, he became its abbot in March 2001, the sixth abbot of St. Benedict’s Abbey, Benet Lake.
Our Br. Matthew, now stationed at Benet Lake, gives us a nice description of what these missionary endeavors in the monastic life have led to: “calmness, good sense of humor, and quick wit. He’s always willing to crack a friendly joke and give a listening ear to people. Everyone who works with him loves him.”
— Fr. Xavier Nacke, OSB
Fr. Patrick Caveglia, OSB | 50 years professed
Looking back at his years of monastic life, Fr. Patrick says that he is filled with gratitude for an abundance of blessings and opportunities. Professed in August 1972 and ordained in May 1994, Fr. Patrick has served the community in many capacities throughout the years: The Printery House manager, novicemaster, academic dean of Conception Seminary College, professor, guestmaster, business manager, and most recently as prior of St. Benedict’s Priory in Benet Lake, Wisconsin, for the past eight years.
He feels his greatest blessing is that he was able to labor alongside so many of our lay coworkers in the various positions he has held throughout the years. It has been a joy to him to get to know them and share in the joys and sorrows of their families and to be able to supply them with meaningful work to be able to support their growing households. Fr. Patrick has had opportunities he never dreamed of. While he always assumed that he would be a teacher, his assignments have expanded his skills in so many areas of management. He said “The community supplied the opportunities. God supplied the grace.” He now looks forward to a somewhat quieter stage in life in his new position as library director for the monastery and seminary.
— Br. Michael Marcotte, OSB