Monastic Bonfire


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On Tuesday evening, a group of the monks had a bonfire down at the area known as “Maria Laach.” Down the hill past the soccer field, there is an island with a fire pit on it and a nice grotto to Our Lady. We enjoyed the warmth coming from the fire and roasted marshmallows and made smores. It was another enjoyable way to celebrate during this Easter Week.






The Benedictine Sisters Come to the Abbey for a Visit


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As part of an annual tradition, the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration came to join the monks for evening prayer and supper on Easter Monday.  It is always good to visit with the Sisters, who live only a couple miles down the road.  They have us over at their monastery on the feast of St. Scholastica each year, so we return the favor.  As always, it was a joyful celebration with good food and good people, an occasion that is fitting to celebrate during Easter Week as we rejoice in Christ’s victory over death.

Below:  Clyde monastery is visible across the fields from Conception Abbey’s property.

Below: The monks greet the sisters in the monastery foyer upon their arrival.
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Below: Both communities gather for evening prayer, processing into choir together, with voices and hearts united in praise of Almighty God.
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Below: A festive banquet follows, where the communities can enjoy one another’s company.
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Easter Sunday


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Easter Greetings from Conception Abbey.  Christ is Risen, Alleluia!!!

Our day began pretty early today.  I woke up at 3:40am and got ready in order to serve as MC at the 4:30am Vigil.  Gathering in the dark of night, we had excellent weather in order to have our Easter fire outdoors.  The procession ensued as monks, seminarians, and guests processed into the dark Basilica, which soon began to fill with candle light, divided and passed to each person from the Paschal Candle.  Br. Macario did a fine job singing the Exultet.  We read all seven Old Testament readings, and the cantors sang the Responsorial Psalms after each reading without accompaniment.  The lights came on during the Gloria, a very powerful moment during a very powerful liturgy.  The Vigil concluded at 7:20am and we had a festive reception.  Seminarians have Easter Monday off, and classes resume Easter Tuesday.

May the Risen Lord fill your hearts with peace and joy this Easter season!

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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.

Below:  Br. Blaise rakes some leaves and prepares the gardens on a beautiful afternoon.
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.

Below: Colorful sunset brings a close to another beautiful day in northwest Missouri.



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.


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