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Classes in the seminary began on Monday and we have 99 seminarians this year. The summer certainly went by quickly but the monastic community too is ready for another academic year. There are 25 monks involved in some aspect of seminary formation, which might include serving as a professor, chaplain, spiritual director, or other member of the faculty. Conception Seminary College is our primary work, so it takes a lot of energy and resources to ensure proper seminary formation.

This year I was appointed as a part-time spiritual director in the seminary. I have six freshmen for spiritual direction. For the past few years, some of the college students from Northwest Missouri State have also been seeing me for spiritual direction. I appreciate the opportunity to see God’s grace at work in other people’s lives.

The past few days have been cool and comfortable, with temperatures in the 70s. It is pleasant weather for the seminarians as they adjust to a new schedule, and for some, a new environment altogether. Monday evening the monastic community was outside for the recreation period which is from the conclusion of supper until Compline (Night Prayer) at 7:15 PM.

During monastic recreation, the monks enjoy one another’s company and usually sit on the benches or on the porch on the east side of the monastery building. At that time in the evening, the monastery shields us from direct sunlight and we can enjoy the outdoors without heating up under our black habit. While life gets busier for many of the monks involved in the seminary, it is still important for us to foster a healthy community life and relax in good company.

I took these pictures below on Monday evening at recreation.

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