Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary

The monks of Conception Abbey recently completed enhancements to the sanctuary in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Abbot Benedict Neenan, OSB, blessed the sanctuary of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on Sunday, June 4, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Many of the monks’ families were present for Monastic Family Weekend and were able to be a part of the special blessing.

The monastic community chose to enhance the sanctuary of the Basilica to commemorate the milestone of Conception Abbey’s 150th anniversary of the community’s foundation. This addition, which was both structural and artistic, finished the work that was delayed in the 1999 Basilica renewal due to cost constraints.

“It is my hope that this enhancement of our worship space will offer an interior renewal within the monks,” said Abbot Benedict. “This really is the most important aspect of the project and holds the greatest meaning for the community. It is a moment to deepen our interior life and renew our fervor in our celebration of the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours. The sanctuary decoration is an exterior symbol of what we hope takes place within our hearts.”

Br. Michael Marcotte, OSB, was the project leader with the help of a team of monks, especially Fr. Pachomius Meade, OSB, who carefully curated the display of art based upon the Church’s current and historical design and architecture.

“The artwork continues the tradition of Beuronese art in the Basilica,” said Br. Michael. “All of the new art has been drawn from Beuronese sources and the color palette has been taken from existing paint colors in the Basilica.” Painted rondels, border designs, and columns supporting the pediment all feature the Beuronese style.

The monks are eager to share this beautiful new centerpiece with guests and all who seek Christ. Whether a visitor has been to the Basilica or not, this renovation offers the opportunity to experience prayer and time with the monks in a new or refreshed way. The Abbey Guest Center will host tour groups and day visitors, giving time for Basilica tours, Mass, lunch, an optional conference, and time in the gift shop and with the recently upgraded historical display cases. Contact the Abbey Guest Center at (660) 944-2809 or for more information.


Learn more about the descriptions of each artistic element here.

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