Fall Photos: Part Two

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More fall photos! Enjoy installment two. The wind has been rather fierce these days, so there may not be a lot of leaves on the trees here pretty soon. It is still a beautiful time of year.

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Pumpkin Carving 

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Monday evening the novices and juniors carved pumpkins. It was a great community bonding experience. Most of the monks who participated carved two or three pumpkins each. Even two monks from St. Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison who were on retreat joined in on the fun. 

Monastery Rock Climbing 

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Every fall the novices and juniors have an outing. This time around, I was in charge of organizing the event and taking them. I asked them what they would like to do for fun. Bowling? Mini-golf? They were all interested in going to a rock climbing gym. So, I called around and found a place in Blue Springs, Missouri that gave us a great group rate.

The primary purpose of our outing was to visit one of our monastic confreres who is in the hospital. We all loaded up in a mini-van after having celebrated Vigils, Lauds, and Mass. We prayed the Rosary together on our way to the Kansas City area. After a nice visit with our confrere in the hospital, we ate our sack lunch as we drove to the gym in Blue Springs.

It was a great team-building exercise. The Ibex Climbing Gym in Blue Springs was a great place for a group of six energetic men. First we went through a one hour long training course where we learned how to tie our own knots and how to belay one another.

Above: Novice Arturo, Novice Walter, and Br. Luke practice tying their knots. Safety first!

Above: The climbing instructor had us practicing how to belay one another, giving us the proper commands so that no one got hurt. Br. Luke belays (below) Novice Justin.

Above: Fr. Paul and Br. Matthew scale the wall.

In addition to climbing with harness and rope, the gym also offers “bouldering”- a form of rock climbing that is performed on large boulders, small rock formations or artificial rock walls, without the use of ropes or harnesses. Novice Walter (below) demonstrates.

Novice Arturo (above and below) uses various training equipment.

Family Weekend 

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This past weekend was the Seminary’s annual Family Weekend. The bulk of the festivities took place Saturday afternoon and evening. Fr. Etienne, freshmen chaplain and Kitchenmaster, organized the outdoor picnic and the food tent. He spent most of the day preparing some delicious ribs! The weather was very pleasant for late-September and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. We welcomed around 150 guests on campus for the weekend.


St. Michael’s Hall Open House

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Happy Feast of the Angels, Michael, Raphael and Gabriel! This is, in many ways, a secondary patronal feast for the monks of Conception Abbey. In celebration of the angels, the freshmen and sophomore seminary dormitory, St. Michael’s Hall had its annual open house. Monks and seminarians were invited to check out the living quarters of the seminarians and socialize for a while Thursday evening. Snacks and refreshments were provided. 

Below: I asked Fr. Etienne and Br. Maximilian to pose for a nice picture, and this is what I got. Fr. Etienne serves as the chaplain to the freshmen class.