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July continues to go by quickly!

Earlier this month, July 13-15, a few of my classmates and I were able to get together at Conception Abbey to spend time together for the weekend. Our graduating class had close to 30 men, but about eight tried to get together, and five of us were able to make it. Two of the five of us are priests, the other three are married. It was great to spend a weekend relaxing, praying, grilling steaks, and recalling fond memories from our years at Conception Seminary College.

Below: Fr. Etienne does the grilling for us (so we were free to play Frisbee!)

It’s now my fourth summer helping out at the Basilica of St. John (Des Moines) while the pastor is on vacation. I arrived on Monday, July 16th. I celebrate Mass daily at noon for the parishioners. This past weekend I also had a wedding and a baptism. In my free time I enjoy exploring the city (and beyond) on my bicycle. Des Moines and places up north have received quite a bit of rain, which has flooded the river. The waters are subsiding, but you can still see areas where there is a lot of water on the trails.

Above: A view north off of the High Trestle Bridge. The water levels are very high.
Below: The High Trestle Bridge is quite the sight.

Below: A flooded bike trail.

Above: The Iowa State Capitol.
Below: An ominous cloud on July 19. That was the day the tornadoes hit in the towns around Des Moines. I didn’t really realize that at the time.

Above: The Pappajohn Sculpture Park.
Below: The Raccoon River Valley Trail that I biked on Monday.