Hooray for spring! Enjoy these photos from the past few days.
This past week we have been battling ice and wintery conditions. The bad weather has caused some professors not to be able to make the drive to Conception Seminary for their classes. I had to postpone a vocation trip to Omaha on Monday. Br. Placid has been working overtime caring for our parking lots and he has been very busy lately plowing the road and salting the sidewalks. I have stayed inside most of the week and thus avoid any treacherous conditions.
Above: Ice clings to the tree branches, but slowly melts as the morning sunlight warms it.
Below: The back steps near the infirmary dare not be crossed.
Inside, things are looking brighter, especially the progress on the Infirmary addition. I checked on the progress in the chapel, and it is coming along nicely. Workers installed some of the stained glass windows. The two main windows will were installed later on Friday (after I took pictures), so I will get pictures of those soon.
Above and Below: The stained glass windows along the side of the chapel. Detail shot below.
Below: One of the resident’s new rooms awaiting move-in day.
Our Christmas liturgies have been prayerful and a nice time with community. Blessings to you for the New Year!
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.
We are in the middle of June and there are plenty of things going on around the Abbey. We have one vocation guest visiting right now, and one more to join him in about a week. The weather warmed up into the 90’s this week and construction is moving quickly on the addition to the Infirmary. See the progress below.
The clouds have been particularly beautiful as well as the other sights around campus.
We continue to welcome a steady flow of guests during these weeks. Next week many Abbots from monasteries throughout the United States will be here for the General Chapter, which we will host this year. Many monks will be involved in extending hospitality to them.
There were plenty of activities going on this past week, and the next week it looks like it will continue. May 13-14 is graduation weekend for Conception Seminary College.
On Saturday, April 29, we had some bad weather, mainly strong winds and rain. A large branch from the tree in the cemetery split from the base.
The Infirmary addition is making very quick progress as you can see below.
The weather this past weekend was absolutely beautiful. This was great especially for two reasons: On Saturday morning we had our annual Abbey Trails 5K Run and 2-mile walk. We had 163 participants outside on a perfect morning. I ran the 5K and placed 3rd overall and 1st in my age group. I enjoyed visiting with our many friends and neighbors who joined us for the event (especially Tam Meyer who is making fun of me in the background).
Above: Seminarian Seth Arnold took 1st place for the second year in a row. Laura Foley of Columbia, Missouri took 1st for the females.
I was also very happy to host more than 30 retreatants for the weekend. They were friends I made during my time in the Spiritual Mentorship Program, a two-year program, helping train men and women to journey with others in their spiritual life. The program concluded in January 2017 and we wanted to have a follow-up retreat. Many of the participants had never been to Conception Abbey before, so I was happy to welcome them. Included in the group is Sr. Susan Pieper, AVI (Apostles of the Interior Life) and Fr. Steve Sotiroff, a priest of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois. They loved praying with the monks and enjoyed the beautiful weather and Abbey grounds. The weekend retreat was filled with so many blessings and graces.
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.
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 Summer 2016 Tower Topics should be hitting mailboxes this week. As the Editor of the magazine, it is always rewarding to see it finally in print. Some of you may be thinking that mid-September is a little late for the summer issue. Well, you would be correct. We finished the magazine and sent it to print around July 30th. It was also around the time our Printery House was getting a new printing press, so it took a little while to work on the learning curve. But, the final product looks great. The cover, an aerial photo, was taken with the drone.
Certainly the next issue will have plenty of important topics- a new school year, Abbot Gregory’s election as Abbot Primate, and recognizing the 125th Anniversary of the Basilica Dedication (celebrated earlier this year). Hopefully the Fall-Winter issue will hit mailboxes in late-November or early-December.
Abbot Gregory returns Saturday evening from Rome. We will be excited to welcome him back to the community, even though he is officially no longer abbot of Conception Abbey.