Prior's Journal: August - October, 2010

We’ve transitioned into the beginning of fall and the school year very well. In the monastery that means people continue with their work and responsibilities relying on past procedures and also adapting to the new things on the horizon. I’m always impressed with those people who are the steady rocks in the community. They are the ones who can be counted on to be there day after day whether in choir at prayer or at their work assignment and getting the job done. So often those people who labor long and faithfully behind the scenes are truly the ones who make good things happen. We often take them for granted and that’s a shame. They need to be acknowledged, something we males in a predominantly male environment often forget to do.

It’s wonderful to see that we have another large enrollment in the seminary college. We’ve been blessed not only with good numbers again, but high quality seminarians who are serious about the process of formation and building community through prayer and hard work. The open house in St. Michael’s Hall on Sept 29 (Feast of St. Michael and all the Angels) provided us with the chance to accept their hospitality as we toured their residence floors. There is certainly a wide variety of talents and interests and housekeeping styles! Our competent formation, academic and administration staff surely provides a valuable learning environment for them.

Memories of good formation was certainly the focus front and center for the Alumni Reunion, Sept 24-25, 2010. Although the numbers were down a bit from last year, the enthusiasm and volume level of greetings among long time friends was certainly high. It was wonderful to see particular classes make special efforts to return as a group and walk down memory lane. There were some who had not been back to visit for almost fifty years. The sharing of stories and catching up on their careers and accomplishments provided some wonderful exchanges. Having Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake Diocese as our guest lecturer speaking about the Church’s stand on the immigration issues was both inspiring and very informative. Bishop Arthur Tafoya, retired bishop of Pueblo, CO honored us by celebrating the Eucharist and preaching the homily. We in turn were able to honor him by presenting him with the Conception Seminary Alumni Distinguished Service Award. Our alumni who make a positive difference in the world are our best and most effective outreach of our life and work.

The communities of Conception Abbey and Clyde Convent have been involved with making a positive difference in our immediate area through an economic development initiative of the Tri-C area. This includes the towns of Conception, Conception Junction, and Clyde. Using the organizational resources of the Public Square Community Building group, we are looking at future possibilities for re-vitalizing the economic and social base of our area. By networking with our neighbors its exciting to be part of a positive movement into the future. Celebrating hope is what we’re all about no matter who and where we are.

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