Monastic Experience Retreat

It is the fourth Sunday of Lent, also known as “Laetare Sunday,” and we have much reason to rejoice.  This weekend we invited three men for a Monastic Experience discernment retreat.  The weekend began Friday evening with Vespers with the monastic community.  Throughout the retreat, the participants heard talks by various monks and even had […]

Fresh off the Press

Last week I finished the Spring 2014 issue of our publication, “Tower Topics,” and we sent it off to our Printery House on Monday. It is always a good feeling to have another issue of Tower Topics complete and ready to be printed.  We are fortunately that the printing can be done here on campus, […]

A Quiet Thursday

The seminarians departed yesterday after their last afternoon class for their “long off-campus weekend.” We wish them safe travels and a relaxing break. They will return Sunday evening. I am finding plenty to do in the office, after a high energy youth retreat last weekend.  I am finishing the layout and design for the Encounter with […]

Going Westward for Youth Ministry

I flew to Denver on Thursday to help out with a Discipleship Youth Retreat for the Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyoming. I was immediately taken with the scenery and the mountains, even though I had had enough snow for the winter. Cameron Smith, a friend from seminary, is the youth minister and he invited me to […]

Game Night with the Monks

Yesterday evening a group of us younger monks invited the four college students from Iowa State to play some games with us.  We started out with the dice game, LCR (Left, Center, Right).  Then, we shifted to some more high-energy games like Pit. Below:  Fr. Jon watches the action, everyone trying to corner the market […]

The Archbishop and the House of Cards

This week Fr. Jon Seda from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center on the campus of Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, brought four college students with him to stay at the Abbey for the week.  They are on their Spring Break and are experiencing monastic life.  On Monday, they prayed with the monks, met to discuss […]

Weekend Activities

It was a busy, but enjoyable weekend. Saturday was a beautiful day.  It was sunny and got up to 70 degrees.  I had Mass for the sisters at Our Lady of Rickenbach (Clyde), as the last Mass of the week for my pastoral assignment.  In the afternoon I visited with a group from St. John’s […]

Fun Times with Seminarians

These past few mornings have been absolutely gorgeous.  I took this pictures on successive mornings, shortly after morning prayer, around 8:00am. I had to take promotional photos for upcoming publications, so I called on a group of seminarians to help out.  Seven very fun men showed up to take pictures for about 25 minutes on […]

Habemus Papam: One Year Later

It is hard to believe that it was one year ago when white spoke came from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel and the bells were ringing.  I was finishing my last year of theology studies at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  I recall going to swim laps in their indoor pool, and returning […]

Mass with the Sisters at OLR

A monk-priest is assigned to be chaplain to the Sisters of Clyde every week.  One celebrates the Mass in the main chapel at 7:30am, and a different priest is assigned to Our Lady of Rickenbach (OLR), where their elderly and infirm sisters reside.  Mass at OLR is at 11:00am each day.  I am assigned to […]