There are plenty of good things happening around the Abbey during this first week of June. For example, Br. Anselm received three queen bees in the mail for his beehives. I saw him walking back from the post office in front of the monastery, looking rather closely at the box he tore open. I just figured someone had sent him some chocolate and he was really hungry. But, instead, I saw a sight I’ve never seen. Bees shipped in the mail! Have a look yourself.
For several years Br. Anselm has been keeping bees on the Abbey property, but since he lost one of his hives during the winter, he is working to replace it and continue his work.
In other news, a seminarian who is working here this summer was flying a small drone (not the drone I fly) and he got it stuck in the tree outside the westside of the monastery. I called our friendly neighbor and electrician, Darrell Schieber, to see if he would retrieve it for us. Darrell gladly assisted, venturing up to the upper part of the large tree in his bucket lift and plucking it off the branch with his hand. It’s wonderful to know such good people.
Speaking of aerial photography, I took a few more beautiful pictures during sunset the other evening. We are having some gorgeous evenings.
I’ve been working on some videos lately, so be sure to check back to see some of the videos when I publish them.
One of the best things about Christmas in the monastery is that our life is so united with the Church’s liturgical year, that we truly experience the celebration of Christmas throughout the Octave. For most of society, once December 25th is passed, Christmas is officially over. These days within the Octave of Christmas have been very rich liturgically and enjoyable with brothers in community.
Below: The Basilica looks beautiful this time of the year, especially with the crib in the minor apse.
Additionally, we have had some pleasant and sunny days. I captured some of the scenes around the Abbey.
The past few weeks have been filled with many activities. Most notably, the monastic community is preparing for the election of a new Abbot on November 22nd. Please pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we preparing for this exciting time in the life of our community.
The reason I have not been blogging as regularly is because we were working to transition our blog to our website, which was recently redone and updated. There will be many articles featured on Conception Abbey’s blog, which can be found here. I will probably contribute content from time to time on our official website’s blog. I appreciate your feedback and support of this blog, Listen, my Son.
On Tuesday, November 8th I was invited to talk about monastic life to the students at Kuemper Catholic High School in Carroll, Iowa. On Wednesday, November 9th, I traveled to Sioux City, Iowa to spend the day talking about monastic life to the students of Heelan Catholic High School in Sioux City, Iowa. Pictured with me is Fr. Shane Deman (Vocation Director of the Diocese of Sioux City) and Sr. Madeleine Miller, O.S.B. (Missionary Benedictines).
There are not many leaves left on the trees these days, but the weather still remains beautiful. We are expecting highs in the 70’s on Thursday before the temperatures start to drop off and it begins feeling more like mid-November.
As we entered into fall just a couple of weeks ago, we are experiencing some of the best days for the weather in Northwest Missouri. Temperatures have been cool in the morning and very pleasant during the day. There are also many activities going on this time of year, many guest groups visiting and enjoying the nice weather as well. This weekend is Family Weekend for Conception Seminary College- a time parents, grandparents, and siblings to visit the seminarians. The forecast is looking promising. Next weekend (October 14-16) is Board of Regents and also our Annual Thunder Cup Tournament (soccer and volleyball). I have been coaching the volleyball team and we are getting excited for the tournament. October 21-23 is our Monastic Experience weekend. We already have several vocation candidates planning to visit in the weeks ahead, both during that weekend and in the days leading up to it.
The past few days have been beautiful. Yesterday I flew the drone around to catch some of the sights of campus.
Fortunately I got those two pictures and many more taken before workers started demolition and construction on the front Basilica steps. This morning and afternoon a worker was tearing up the steps that had become damaged over the course of time and weather.
The past few weeks have been very busy. I helped out with the Companion Camp Reunion, then departed for Wichita and Oklahoma City to visit a monastic vocation guest and attend the priesthood ordination as the seminary representative for alumnus John Paul Lewis. The monks have 14 days of vacation each year, so I spent a week with my parents and had an enjoyable and relaxing time. Today I will head to Pennsylvania to attend the wedding of a friend. I did my theology studies in Latrobe, PA and was assigned to Sts. John and Paul parish in Wexford, PA. I made many friends during my year as a deacon as I was formed in such a positive way by that parish. It is always a great experience to go back and visit them. I will celebrate two or three Masses there this weekend.
Here are some of the photos from the past week or so. Br. Etienne has been helping share the photo taking while I have been away. Some of the photos below are mine and some are his. The weather has been warm, but we have received some generous rain lately to keep everything green. Peace and blessings!
These past 10 days or so have been absolutely beautiful. It has been sunny and in the 70’s and 80’s. It is certainly a good start for the summer. By the end of the week, it will be into the 90’s.
The seminarians have been away for a few weeks. Three of them returned this week to do some work around campus for the next month. The shift to the summer schedule has been pleasant. The monks have had enjoyable and relaxing time in community. Br. Etienne (pictured below) and I have been spending most evenings biking, going for quick 15 mile rides. Yesterday evening, despite the strong south wind, we set our fastest time so far.
Below are a few of the scenery pictures feature on Conception Abbey’s Facebook page as the “Photo of the Day.” These pictures show how beautiful and green things are this time of year.
The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, Missouri (just two miles down the road) asked me to do some aerial photography and videography with the aerial drone. I had been wanting to take pictures of their beautiful grounds. They have a nice community and many extraordinary buildings. Enjoy these pictures from the air.