angels, archangels, Benedictine, catholic, Catholic Church, Conception Abbey, Conception Seminary College, Fr ast day, monastic life, monks, open house, pictures, priesthood, religious life, seminarians, St. Michael, vocations
Happy Feast of the Angels, Michael, Raphael and Gabriel! This is, in many ways, a secondary patronal feast for the monks of Conception Abbey. In celebration of the angels, the freshmen and sophomore seminary dormitory, St. Michael’s Hall had its annual open house. Monks and seminarians were invited to check out the living quarters of the seminarians and socialize for a while Thursday evening. Snacks and refreshments were provided.
The Infirmary addition construction is coming along nicely. This past week workers sprayed on a foam insulation on the exterior of the building.
Below: On Sunday morning there was a fog descending upon the Abbey. One of our neighbors took this picture and shared it with me.
The workers are making lots of progress on the Infirmary addition. The framework for the chapel was built up during this past week. I decided to take some aerial photos of the progress to give an interesting perspective.
We continue to enjoy beautiful and sunny weather with just enough rain to keep everything green.
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.
I flew the drone on Wednesday to capture these beautiful pictures of the monastery.
One evening Fr. Etienne (just one week ordained) and I tested out a new board game the other evening: Forbidden Island. It is a 2-4 player cooperative game. There is one way to win, but four ways to lose! We ended up winning both times and determined that we really enjoy this game.
In the evenings I’m working on finishing up the last two stained glass windows for the monastery. They will be installed in the monastery chapter room. Take a look at the pattern and assembly process below.
Somehow we have found ourselves halfway through February. The past few weekends I have been helping out with retreats for college students, which have proven to be very enjoyable work. This weekend I’ll travel to visit a monastery vocation candidate. There has been strong interest in the monastery lately and I’m always eager to share the joys of monastic life with men who are seeking God’s will in their lives.
Abbot Primate Gregory has been back visiting the monastery since this past Wednesday. He was at the Abbey giving a weekend retreat that focused on the Call Narratives in Scripture. He will attend the Abbot’s Workshop in California before returning to Rome, Italy. It is always good to have him back home and to visit with him.
From Thursday of this week onward, we have projected highs in the 60’s for the temperature. It certainly makes me wonder what March will bring, but for the meantime, we will gladly take this beautiful weather.
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.