Work, Travel, and Baseball


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I completed my first draft of the Fall-Winter issue of Tower Topics and sent it to my proofreaders.  I received their edits and I am now working hard to make changes to the publication before sending it to the printer.  Hopefully it will hit mailboxes in one month.  It is always such a big project to work on, I am glad that it is only three times a year.

Last Friday I headed out for a trip to promote monastic vocations and establish a few contacts.  I was invited to celebrate Mass for the college students at the Newman Center at St. John the Evangelist on the campus of Oklahoma State University.  I went to Oklahoma State for two years before deciding to enter seminary, so it was a bit of a Homecoming for me.  That was rather fitting, since it was their Homecoming weekend.  No one does Homecoming like Oklahoma State.  The city was bouncing, with the highways into town filled with cars.  In the evening during the “Walkaround,” the fraternities build elaborate house decorations in a Homecoming tradition and competition.  Each fraternity is paired up with a sorority.  The streets were flooded with people at the Walkaround.  I know Homecoming well, because during my time at Oklahoma State as a student, I lived in a fraternity house and spent much time working on the house decorations.  Since then, they have only become more elaborate.

Above:  The new football training facility (on game day).IMG_0005.JPG

Above:  Lambda Chi Alpha’s Homecoming Decoration (my former house)
Below:  Phi Gamma Delta, I think they won 1st place this year.IMG_0006.JPG

Sunday evening I had Mass for the students.  It is a very vibrant Catholic population.  I was able to visit with the students and talk about monastic life during the dinner that they have every Sunday after Mass.

Monday morning I headed to Tulsa to have Mass at the University of Tulsa.  Fr. Kerry Wakulich is the chaplain at the St. Philip Neri Center.  He is my classmate from Conception Seminary College.  He is a very outgoing and popular priest who has connections everywhere thanks to his incredibly extraverted personality.  It was great to be able to visit and catch up with Fr. Kerry and pick his brain about vocations.  He organized a lunch for me to meet with several men from his discernment group.

Below:  Fr. Kerry and I pose with cutout of Pope Francis.  Fr. Kerry is not shaving for the month of October as a pro-life cause, calling it “Beards for Babies.”  We gave him a hard time because his beard is entirely gray (he is a little older than me).IMG_0064.JPG

Many of the monks have been keeping up with the Kansas City Royals in the World Series.  It has been a very exciting postseason.  However, with last night’s game 7, only one team would be able to win it all.  Unfortunately, it was not our beloved Royals.  They were still certainly an exciting team to watch and showed a lot of class.  We are proud of our team!IMG_0087.JPGIMG_0090.JPG

Above:  Flying monk- Br. Maximilian jumps for what we had hoped would be a World Series victory picture.  Nevertheless, I think it’s a fun picture and still recognizes an awesome baseball season.





Sports Weekend


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The Conception Seminary College “Thunder Cup” (Soccer/Volleyball tournament) began Saturday morning with the first round of soccer games.  It was a beautiful and sunny fall day for soccer and everyone seemed to be in good spirits for some inter-seminary competition.  Conception Seminary has two soccer fields, so four of the six teams in the tournament were able to play simultaneously on the different fields.  Games continued in the afternoon.  At the end of the afternoon, it was Josephinum (Columbus, Ohio) and Conception Team I (Conception, Missouri) winning both of their games and headed to the championship game on Sunday morning.


As fun as the soccer games were, as the volleyball coach, I am partial to the volleyball tournament. The tournament began at 7:00PM Saturday evening, after the soccer games had been played.  Seminarians, monks, friends and family filled the gym bleachers in St. Michael’s Hall for what turned out to be a volleyball tournament for the ages.

Conception Seminary “Sons of Thunder” had two teams in the six team tournament.  One team wore blue and gold jerseys while the other wore gray and white.  The tournament consisted of 15 games, each team playing 5 games (one game against every other team). The games were rally scoring to 15 points, win by one point. The CSC Blue Team played very well and dominated the round robin play, being the only team to win all five of its games. This secured their advancement to the championship game.  The CSC Gray Team, lost their first game by one point, and they finished with two wins and three losses, thereby dashing their hopes of an “all Conception” championship game.


Conception Seminary’s Blue Team faced off against their nemesis, St. Meinrad.  While CSC defeated St. Meinrad 15-11 in round robin play, the championship match was the only thing that mattered.  It was a best of three series.  Conception won the first game 15-7, but lost 10-15 in the second game.  The third game was by far the most intense and exciting of the games, showing great volleyball skill and resilience.  It was a back and forth battle.  The game was tied 14-14, and St. Meinrad edged out Conception by winning the final point.  I won’t lie, it was a devastating loss.  But, I am very proud of the team. They practiced hard for several weeks and showed great teamwork.IMG_6482 IMG_6485

Above:  Both Conception teams gather together after the tournament.

Josephinum and Conception played in Sunday morning’s championship game. It was not a good day for Conception soccer, as they were defeated in a landslide victory for Josephinum.IMG_6516IMG_6506 IMG_6513

Bring the Noise


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Saturday, Oct. 18- The long awaited Seminary Soccer-Volleyball Tournament is just around the corner.  The seminarians are getting excited about it all.  The six team round robin volleyball tournament begins at 7:00PM and will have teams from St. Joseph’s College Seminary (Chicago, IL), St. Meinrad (St. Meinrad, IN), St. Gregory the Great Seminary (Seward, NE), Josephinum (Columbus, OH), and two Conception Seminary teams (Conception, MO).

We have been practice for over a month and a half.  Yesterday evening was the last practice before the tournament.  I gave the seminarians their new team jerseys and had them pose for team photos.  Seminarians find ways to make things fun.

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In addition to the fun photos from last night’s practice, we also took some “promotional” photos that we put on posters and placed around campus in order to get people excited for the game.  Today, the seminarians were able to wear their jerseys over their class day attire polos.

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Family Weekend


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This past weekend was Conception Seminary’s Family Weekend.  Most parents arrived sometime on Saturday to check in on their sons.  Hopefully everyone was found in good form.  Saturday was a beautiful sunny day to walk around campus.  One could see many younger siblings running around and enjoying themselves, hanging out with their older brothers.

Families joined the monastic community for Evening Prayer on Saturday, followed by a social in St. Maur Hall.  Many dropped in the television lounge to catch part of Game 2 of the ALCS between the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals, a game that the Royals ended up winning.  After the social, everyone headed to the dining room for a festive meal.  Later in the evening, the Seminary Mariachi band entertain the guests.

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Saying Goodbye


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A monk I studied with at St. Vincent, who is from St. Andrew’s Abbey (Cleveland), left me a voice message last night notifying me that Fr. Bill Wiethorn passed away.  Fr. Bill was a friend of mine and was a Capuchin priest whom I met in February 2004 when I was in seminary.  It was around that time that I began discerning religious life, and visiting with him and experiencing his joyful demeanor was a great blessing.  He encouraged and support my early inklings toward religious life.  He invited me to visit him in Washington, D.C.

Eventually, I was able to visit the Capuchins in D.C. in 2005 when we stayed we stayed with the community during the March for Life.  It was a great community, but God had other plans for me.

Below:  Pictures from the March for Life 2005 (yes, I keep almost everything)
group at capitol

Above:  That’s Fr. Xavier Nacke on the left, all bundled up.

When I made solemn vows in 2009 and was sent off to finish my Theology training in preparation for the priesthood, I attended school at St. Vincent in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  I quickly heard from another Capuchin that Fr. Bill was nearby in Cleveland.  I was able to visit him for Fall break 2009.  He was gracious as ever.  He was proud that I had entered religious life, even if it was the Benedictines and not the Capuchins.

Below:  Here we are donning competing habits!



We were able to get together one more time.  It was October 2010, Fall Break again.  It was a cool day and we went to Lake Erie and I was trying out my new Canon Rebel XS camera.  Here are a couple of the pictures that I snapped that day.  He was the only man brave enough to wear a Steelers jacket in Cleveland.

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Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Read the full obituary on the Capuchin website



Seminary Volleyball Team


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The Seminary volleyball team is preparing for the big tournament which will be held on Saturday, October 18.  Several other seminaries will travel and bring soccer and volleyball teams to the inter-seminary tournament hosted by Conception Seminary College, named “The Thunder Cup.”

Our seminarians have been practicing twice a week since early September, and now we only have four scheduled practices to go.  It has been encouraging to see the improvement in their play, communication, and teamwork.  One seminarian commented, “I have really enjoyed being able to play volleyball a couple times a week.  Sports have always been a great way to foster fraternity and build friendships with others.”

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Partnering for Future Priests


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Friday evening we had our annual Partnering for Future Priests Dinner and Auction at Our Lady of Guadalupe church in St. Joseph, Missouri. It was an enjoyable evening and delicious meal, with the proceeds benefiting Conception Seminary College. This is the 6th year for the event. Monks, faculty, and seminarians attended the dinner.
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From Sunrise to Sunset


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This week I have had Mass for the Benedictine Sister of Perpetual Adoration at Clyde.  It is a great week to go to Clyde because Mass is at 7:30am, but the sunrise is around 7:15am.  I get to see the sun showing itself as it creeps above the horizon.  I packed my camera along and took these pictures over the course of two mornings.  Enjoy. IMG_5364 IMG_5369 IMG_5376

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Below:  I also include one sunset picture that I took during monastic recreation.  Novice Eric and Br. Macario are walking across the road toward the cemetery.




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