Good Friday

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Our Good Friday celebration of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ began at the 3 o’clock hour. The monastic community processed into a full Basilica in silence. The celebration of the Lord’s Passion consists of three parts, namely, the Liturgy of the Word, the Adoration of the Cross, and Holy Communion.  The Priest and the Deacon, wearing red vestments as for Mass, go to the altar in silence and, after making a reverence to the altar, prostrate themselves and pray in silence for a while. All others kneel.  Abbot Gregory actually ended up wearing the red chasuble I received from the parishioners at Sts. John and Paul (Wexford, PA) for my ordination.  I wore it at my First Mass.  Abbot Gregory chose to wear it because it is light weight.

It was a powerful and beautiful celebration and we were fortunately to have many guests in our presence.  May we be grateful to Jesus Christ for coming to save us by his death on the cross.

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Holy Thursday

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It was a beautiful and powerful liturgy at Conception Abbey, celebrating the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.  Seminarians, guests, and the monastic community gathered together to praise God on this special day.  The customary Holy Thursday banquet occurred before the celebration of the Eucharist.  The Basilica was filled with beautiful music and the lifting of our hearts in prayer.  Archbishop Jerome preached an excellent homily and Abbot Gregory washed the feet of twelve men.  Service, Charity, Sacrifice.  A Blessed Triduum to you!

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Triduum Schedule

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What does the Abbey’s Triduum Schedule look like?  See below.

Holy Thursday

11:00am Reconciliation Service (Basilica)
12:00pm Lunch
5:00pm  Holy Thursday Banquet (Guest Dining Room)
7:00pm  Solemn Eucharist of the Lord’s Supper

Adoration of the Eucharist until Midnight

Good Friday

7:50am  Morning Prayer
11:45am  Daytime Prayer
12:00pm  Lunch
3:00pm  Celebration of the Passion of the Lord
6:00pm  Supper
7:15pm  Night Prayer

Holy Saturday

7:00am  Breakfast
7:50am  Morning Prayer
11:45am  Daytime Prayer
12:00pm  Lunch
5:35pm  Evening Prayer
6:15pm  Supper

Easter Sunday

4:00am  Rise
4:30am  The Easter Vigil
Breakfast 15 minutes after the Vigil
11:45am  Daytime Prayer
12:00pm  Brunch
5:00pm  Evening Prayer (with ceremonies)
7:15pm  Night Prayer

Palm Sunday Procession

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Due to the questionable weather, we had to keep the Palm Sunday procession indoors this year.  It was cloudy and threatening to rain all morning long.  Scattered thunderstorms have been saturating the ground, just in time for the farmers’ planting season.  Our procession took us to St. Raphael Hall and back to the Basilica for a beautiful liturgy this morning.  While I am biased, there is no place better than Holy Week at Conception Abbey.

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A Little More Like Spring

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This week has been remarkably warmer, and signs of spring are all around us. The grass is looking far greener than ever, and people are outside walking, jogging, and working.
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Below:  Br. Blaise rakes some leaves and prepares the gardens on a beautiful afternoon.
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Below: The light from the evening sun casts a stunning reflection of the stained glass window in the back of the Basilica around the crucifix in the sanctuary.
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Below: Colorful sunset brings a close to another beautiful day in northwest Missouri.

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Video

Monastic Life at Conception Abbey

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I put together this video for Abbot Gregory on a talk that he gave to another monastic community on the topic of “Vocations.”  Conception Abbey has had a number of young men join in recent years, and this is our response to why we entered monastic life.

Encounter Weekend

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Conception Seminary College hosts a come and see weekend for young men discerning a vocation to the priesthood.  Encounter with God’s Call weekend occurs once in the fall semester and once in the spring.  The participants hear a variety of talks about the joys and challenges of discernment and share their experiences in following Christ.  They provide insight about seminary life and answer any questions the participants might have.  There were close to 80 participants and over 100 total guests.

I was asked to hear confessions from 8:30pm-9:30pm on Saturday evening.  Additionally, the young men had the option on Sunday afternoon of hearing my talk on “Monastic Life.”  There were about 15 men who attended the talk and there was the opportunity for questions afterwards.

Below:  Pictures from the different talks and speakers in a room full of participants, priests, and vocation directors.
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Below:  Opportunity for small group discussion with the seminarians.
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Below:  It would not be the complete Conception Seminary experience without athletics.  Seminarians and retreat participants play basketball late into Saturday evening.
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Weekly Assignments

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Each Saturday the Prior (Fr. Daniel) posts a new list of assignments goes on the monastery bulletin board. It lists anything from who is celebrating Mass during the week, to the bell ringer, to table waiters. There are “house” (monastery) assignments, and these assignments begin Saturday afternoon and continue throughout the week. Also, for the priests of the community, there are pastoral assignments, which often list who is celebrating Mass at the Newman Center in Maryville, for example.

Last week I was assigned to celebrate Mass for the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (Clyde, MO).  Mass at Clyde is at 7:30am, where the conventual Mass in the Abbey Basilica is at 11:45am.  The earlier Mass time was a nice change of pace, as was the different environment and congregation.

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It was nice driving over in the morning, just as the sun is rising in the east.  However, the past few days have been rather cloudy and rainy, but today is very sunny.

Below:  The beautifully decorated apse and sanctuary at Clyde.  How could you not enjoy celebrating Mass in this holy place?

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Farewell to the sisters!  It was an enjoyable week in their company.  They are such a joyful and hospitable community.
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The Abbey is illuminated by the rising sun.  It looks like it will be a beautiful Saturday.
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Companion Camp

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The weekend of June 20-22, we host our 18th annual Companion Camp.  The camp is for boys entering grades 6th-8th.  I have been involved in the camp for about ten years and I have been Camp Director the past several years.  It is a great experience for junior high boys to enjoy one another’s company, grow in their Catholic faith, and meet seminarians, monks, and priests.  In the past, the vocation directors from Grand Island, Nebraska, Dodge City, Kansas, and Jefferson City, Missouri have all brought a group of kids, and there are plenty of boys who attend from elsewhere.  We have had anywhere between 40-90 kids.

In addition to the junior high boys, we invite young men in high school to apply to be a part of the Companion Camp Staff.  They assist with the activities, and participate in various ways throughout the weekend.

We play a lot of different games, like dodgeball, basketball, soccer, relay races, and we have a giant inflatable obstacle course, which is always a favorite.

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If you know any junior high or high school age boys who would be interested in attending, please contact me or send them this information:

Visit the Companion Camp website, which has registration forms.

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April Fool’s Caption Writing Results

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I had an April Fool’s Photo of the Day and requested people to submit their captions on our Facebook page.

Posted below are the picture and the comments.

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Boy, you break one chair and they never let you even step foot inside again.

I was invited to a barbeque today after Mass. Um wait a sec.

Holy Cow!!!!!

That’s a lot of bull!

The Papal Bull has arrived.

Getting ready for Palm Sunday in the Midwest!

The Spirit is moo-ving me. Could you steer me to the Basilica?

All Gods creatures great and small!!

Did I miss the ark?

St. Luke the Evangelist Church

C’mon dudes, ya gotta eat more chiken!

Postulant Barthole-moo entered the monastery today! Welcome!

Bovine insteervention

Wow, this is a really fancy barn

According to the Bible: Job 12:7 – But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee #Wisdom

or… Genesis 9:3 – Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you. #Dinner 

Lent? I am so late for the manger!

Eat more fish it’s Lent and that’s no bull

I herd E-steer is this month, I better get calfinated………(haha that was udderly ridiculous)

St. Francis would approve but I’m not so sure about St. Benedict.

Pray till the cows come home.

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