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May the Joy of Christ dwell in your heart this holy season
and throughout the year!

The monks had beautiful Christmas celebrations, beginning with First Vespers, followed by a banquet in the monastery refectory.  A fun monastery tradition is that we ring all five bells in the tower for fifteen minutes before Christmas Vigils at 7:45pm.  Many people are surprised to hear that our largest bell, commonly referred to as “bell 5,” weighs enough that it is capable of lifting one of the monks eight feet or more off of the ground.  I have pictures to prove it!  Before Vigils the monks take turn ringing the bells and “riding” bell 5.

Despite the cold weather and the snow, Midnight Mass drew a sizable crowd.  Abbot Gregory presided at a beautiful liturgy.  The monks of Conception Abbey wish all of our family and friends a blessed Christmas.  Please be assured of our prayers throughout the New Year.

740_IMG_0312740_IMG_0314740_IMG_0329Above: Monks get serious hang time on the bell rope740_IMG_0363Above:  The Basilica before Christmas Vigils
Below:  Midnight Mass, Abbot Gregory presiding740_740_IMG_0370740_740_IMG_0373740_740_IMG_0383740_740_IMG_0387740_740_IMG_0391740_740_IMG_0411740_740_IMG_0415