Advent is Coming

The seminarians left for Thanksgiving break and return Sunday evening. This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, so some preparations had to be made. Each year a large Advent wreath is placed around the St. Joseph statue on the steps leading to St. Joseph Hall. Fr. Xavier enlisted the help of several students to assemble the wreath. 

Thanksgiving is always an enjoyable time for the monastic community. The monks who are serving out in parishes return home for the break and we also honor those monks who are celebrating special anniversaries of ordination or monastic profession. I will also post in the days ahead showing the monastic practices during the special days. 


Day in the Life of a Seminarian


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Ever wonder what a seminarian does each day?  Check out this video that goes chronologically through a seminarian’s day, from prayer to studies to recreation.

One of the freshmen, Dave Sotelo (Diocese of Wichita), helped me film this video which we put together.

This weekend we have more than 100 men visiting for the weekend to check out the Seminary. Many were accompanied by priests, alumni, and other chaperones to explore what it is like to follow God in priestly formation. For all of those who were not able to attend the weekend, you can see aspects of their life by watching this video. Feel free to share with others.

CSC Fall Production


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The moment has come. The initial vision, followed by months of planning and hours upon hours of hard work are about to become a reality. The audience—seminarians, their families, faculty members, and monks—enter St. Michael’s Gymnasium, traversing the wooden floor in search of choice seats for the performance. Actors, stagehands and tech crew are in place, tense with anticipation. Light illuminates the stage. The curtain opens.

Conception Seminary College presents “Hospital” by Tim Kelly. This Friday and Saturday night at 8:00pm and Sunday at 2:30pm. Admission $10, children 12 and under Free. St Michael Hall Gymnasium.

Each year the Br. Cyprian Langlois and the seminarians put on a Fall Production. Read more about Br. Cyprian and his work in the Drama Department in the upcoming Fall-Winter issue of Tower Topics.

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Fading Daylight


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The afternoon sun is setting a little too quickly for my preference these days. While everyone enjoyed that extra hour of sleep for Daylight Savings Time, it is strange going to Evening Prayer while the sun is already set. Nevertheless, these days of fall have a beauty of their own, even if the leaves are past their peak.

The past week has been filled with meetings with the freshmen that live on my residence floor and deadline work on Tower Topics. Toward the end of the last week I made a trip to Wichita and spoke at Bishop Carroll high school about monastic vocations.  I also headed over to Tulsa, Oklahoma to celebrate Mass at the University of Tulsa and I spoke to a Confirmation group at St. Mary’s Church in Tulsa. Travel is tiresome for me, but it was enjoyable to share a little bit about monastic life with high school and college age students. I returned Monday afternoon to an inbox full of emails and plenty of work to do.

Below: Monastic Experience Weekend (Oct. 31-Nov. 2), we welcomed two men who are considering monastic life into the monastery for the weekend retreat. Saturday evening Brs. Placid and Michael joined us for some fun and games. We hope to have several other monastic vocation guests visit during Christmas break.

Below: Tuesday morning I took this picture as the sun was rising. It is one of my favorite ones I have taken this year.

Below: Tuesday afternoon I joined our Director of Communications, Jenny Huard, in sitting in on the Seminary Public Relations Committee meeting. We look at upcoming events and brainstorm how we want to cover the events with pictures and video. We are never short of ideas.

Recently, the Public Relations Committee had the opportunity to interview our newly installed bishop, Bishop James V. Johnston (Kansas City-St. Joseph).  Check out the video.

Below:  Sneak preview- The cover of the Fall-Winter issue of Tower Topics will look something like this. It features our new Rector (Fr. Brendan Moss, O.S.B.) and Vice-Rector (Fr. Pat York). I’m happy to have this issue finished and sent off to the printers. It always takes a lot of hard work to take photos, compile articles, and do the layout and design.


All Souls Day Procession


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Early this afternoon, the monastic community gathered for their All Souls Day procession to pray for the faithful departed.  We chanted Psalms and invoked the intercession of the saints as we walked to the cemetery.  There more prayers were offered for the deceased.  Many of the monks remained at the cemetery for a while to pray for family members, friends, benefactors, and the other monks who have gone before them to eternal life.

May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.

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October’s Beautiful Colors


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If the wind doesn’t blow all of the leaves off of the trees, then we’ll be able to enjoy the nice colors for a little longer. This year’s fall colors are no disappointment. Campus is looking great as the temperatures drop. This morning it was close to freezing temperature, but forecasts say Sunday and Monday could show temperatures in the 70’s.  At this time of the year, we’ll take whatever we can get.

Some of the pictures below were taken from a little bit of height.  A local neighbor, Darrell Schieber, who is an electrician, sent me up in his bucket lift to get some interesting angles.  Enjoy!IMG_9738 IMG_9747 IMG_9820 IMG_9847 IMG_9861 IMG_9864 IMG_9898 IMG_9904 IMG_9912 IMG_9927

Another nice color around here is blue.  Due to our proximity to Kansas City, Missouri, we have been cheering on the Royals in the World Series.  Good luck, KC!

Thunder Cup Weekend


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We had lots of activities and visitors this weekend.  First, our Board of Regents members arrived on Friday for their meetings in order to help offer input and feedback regarding the Seminary planning.  Bishop Dendinger celebrated Mass Friday evening.IMG_9418 IMG_9428

Bishop Johnston, the Bishop-elect of our Diocese, Kansas City-St. Joseph, is pictured with the seminarians from his current Diocese of Springfield Cape-Girardeau.IMG_9434

Below:  Bishop Johnston is pictured with the seminarians from Kansas City-St. Joseph.IMG_9437

This weekend was our annual Thunder Cup Weekend, the soccer and volleyball tournament.  The first round of soccer games began Saturday morning at 10:00 AM and continued into the afternoon.  Conception Seminary played Our Lady of Guadalupe (Denton, NE) in their first game, but lost 4-2.  CSC played St. Meinrad in their second game, but lost 2-1.  They put forth a good effort, but weren’t able to win the championship this year.  Instead, Mundelein beat St. Meinrad 6-0 on Sunday morning.IMG_9456 IMG_9465 IMG_9502 IMG_9512 IMG_9522

The CSC Volleyball game had a difficult outing in Saturday evening’s tournament.  CSC had high hopes after placing second in the past two years, but at the end of the round robin tournament, St. Meinrad and Mundelein played in the championship game with Mundelein taking home the championship trophy.  It was a disappointing weekend for CSC sports, but it was enjoyable to welcome 4 different seminaries to compete for the weekend.

Family Weekend


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Above and Below:  Beautiful weather– this is my favorite time of the year.

It was our annual Family Weekend for the seminarians.  Their parents, siblings, and other relatives enjoyed a weekend of activities and some wonderful weather.  All enjoyed Evening Prayer with the monastic community, a social afterwards, and a banquet in the dining rooms.  Later that evening there was a social in the Alumni Union where some of the seminarians also provided entertainment.

Below:  The Library had their annual book sale in St. Michael’s Gym.  It was from 1-6 PM, Saturday and Sunday, and 4-8 PM Monday.

Sunday afternoon Conception Seminary College’s soccer team had a scrimmage game against Northwest Missouri State’s club team.  This was practice to prepare them for the tournament where several seminarians will travel to Conception for some weekend competition.

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Witnessing the Faith


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On Sunday early afternoon, seminarian Chris Davis (Diocese of Salina) and I decided to bike to Maryville to participate in Life Chain Sunday.  I tried getting others involved, but not too many were thrilled about the 35 mile round trip.  We planned to do this a couple days before, but when Sunday rolled around, it was only 55 degrees, overcast, and fairly windy.  We decided to call the ride “Biking for Babies” since the Life Chain effort is all about a silent prayerful witness to life, calling for an end to abortion.Gathered with more than 100 others in Maryville, we stood along Main Street praying and holding signs for all who would drive by and see our witness.

Members from our senior class had the opportunity to evangelize and share their Catholic faith on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University.  They participated in some training with the director of campus ministry at the Newman Center before they set out in pairs to engage college students in conversation about Jesus Christ.FullSizeRender IMG_0020


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