Monday, November 3, 2014


Here we are already into the month of November.  The World Series is over -- even though it would have been great for the Royals to win, they have nothing to be ashamed of as they played good baseball, especially during the play-offs and the World Series. They provided many of us with many hours of entertainment in the recent weeks.  Not much good on television anymore so what else is their to watch other than sports.  The Chiefs are doing pretty well and hopefully they will continue throughout the remainder of the season.

High up in the upper deck at Kaufman Stadium for the first
game of the World Series.  A great evening even though
the Royals lost that first game.

The leaves are pretty well all gone from the trees but there are plenty of them still on the ground.  The men who take care of the grounds for the Sisters keep running their big lawn mower over the leaves until they are pretty well all in very small pieces.  It seems to me like we also did that at Conception.  The trees were not nearly as pretty up here as they usually are in the Conception area.  I saw a lot of good pictures taken at Conception and there was a lot of color there.  The wind is usually pretty strong up here so that means the leaves blow off pretty fast in the fall of the year.

Two photos taken at Conception Abbey by Father Paul, OSB

This past Saturday I went over to Stanton to celebrate the 5:30 PM Mass for Father Gerald Connealy, a friend and alumnus of Conception Seminary.  I noticed a lot of corn still out in the fields.  I guess there is a bumper crop fo corn and soybeans this year, at least here in the Midwest.  My little hometown of Brunswick MO has three elevators but I am told they are all full and a lot of grain is simply stored outdoors.  Hopefully we can get some of these good crops to areas of our world where people are still starving.   They must feed a lot of the corn grown in this area to fatten cattle.  There are many, many feed lots here in Nebraska and you can certainly smell them as you drive down the road.

I sure enjoyed the World Series this year.  I think the Royals did a great job and really showed the world that we have a good team here in our part of the country.  Hopefully this will continue next year.  With the players becoming free agents you never know where a player will be from year to year.  Not much of a sense of loyalty it seems to me.  People like Stan Musial, Ted Willians, George Brett and many others played with the same team their entire career.

Tomorrow is voting day in this country  I just hope we elect some good men and women and that we can get this country back on the right track.  Unfortunately I won't be voting.  I did not register in Nebraska and I forgot to get an absentee ballot in Missouri.  But, I will be watching the returns on Tuesday evening.

As usual we monks of Conception Abbey will be gathering at Conception over Thanksgiving week.  As many of you know it is on Thanksgiving day that we usually celebrate the jubilees of the year.  This year I will be celebrating sixty years of profession.  

God bless you all.    

Sunday, October 19, 2014


This past week has been quite a week, at least for a fan of the Kansas City Royals.  As I have mentioned many times before, I am generally an early to bed person and then also an early to rise person.  Some nights when the Royals were playing I would go to bed but then could not go to sleep so I would get up and watch more of the game.  After doing this two or three times I ended up having some short nights at least as far as sleep was concerned.  

Finally when they were about to win the American League championship -- having won the first three games, I decided before the fourth game that I was going to stay with it until the end.  What a game that was as the Royals won 2-1.  They did a lot of celebrating that night but, once the game was over, I went to bed to get some sleep.

And then I got a big surprise on Tuesday morning when I got down to the nursing home.  The administrator called me aside and presented me with two tickets to the first World Series game.  That game will be played in Kansas City this coming Tuesday evening, October 21.  I asked the associate pastor here in Norfolk, Father Greg Carl, to go with me.  I knew Father as a student at Conception and he is a big baseball fan.  So we will drive to Kansas City on Tuesday.  After the game we will drive up to Conception Abbey and spend the night there before driving back to Norfolk on Wednesday.  

No wonder my blood pressure has been running a little high.  I saw my primary care doctor up here, Dr. David Lux, this past week and he increased my medicine a little for now.  I have never seen a World Series game and probably never expected to see one.  But, I guess we never know what will come in our lives.  God is good and gives us so many gifts in our lives.  Give me, Lord, a grateful heart always.  

Weather has been really nice up here the last days.  Typical fall weather with daytime temperatures in the 60's or 70's and then cool nights.  

This photo is taken from section 433 in Kaufman stadium.  Our 
seats are in this section.

So if you are watching the game on t.v. and see someone waving from the upper deck in right field, that's me.  

God bless all you readers.  

Sunday, October 5, 2014


This past week has been a difficult week for getting enough sleep.  The Royals have played three games in the play-offs in the American League and every game has gone more than the regular nine innings.  So most nights I have had to go to bed before the game was over.  I get up every morning about 4:30 AM so need to get some sleep.  Of course then when I wake up during the night I have to check on how the Royals did and then have to go back to sleep.  That is not always easy, especially considering the way the scores have turned out.  Tonight they again play the Angels and if they win they will then go on to the American League championship games.

Kaufman Stadium ready for tonight's game.

We have had some rather cool days and nights during the past week.  Friday I turned on the heat in the house.  It is a little warmer today but still only in the 60's  

I am now working on a new computer.  A good friend of mine gave me a new computer and it is really very nice.  My old one was just about full, very slow etc.   My new one has Windows 7 on and is working very nicely.  It was recommended to me by a company here in Norfolk, that I not get Windows 8.1 as that is evidently quite different and complicated.  They recommended Windows 7 and I am very happy with that.
New computer set up in my office at Norfolk.

This past Thursday I stayed home and did not go anyplace on this day off.  I did three or four loads of laundry and even did the chapel laundry from the St. Joseph Rehabilitation and Care Center.  We needed someone to wash the small linens and since I have a washer and dryer as well as an ironing board and iron, I decided go ahead and do it myself.  It was actually kind of fun.

As most of you know, besides this blog I also have a site where I have many photos posted.  I thought I would put all that information here on this blog once again.

Blog site:
Photo site:

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Today (September 24) is FOUNDATION DAY for the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing.  So this morning we had a special Mass at 7:00 AM to celebrate the day and the Sisters are celebrating throughout the day.  At noon we had food prepared by various Sisters from various countries throughout the world.  The group of Sisters here at Norfolk is pretty much an international group with Sisters from Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, South Korea, the Philippines etc.  The meal was very good and enjoyed by all. 

In order to understand more about this day I looked up the web site for the Sisters at
Here is a little introduction as to the beginning of this community of Benedictines.

Joseph Georg Amrhein was born on February 4, 1844, in Berom√ľnster, Canton Luzern, Switzerland. He entered the Beuron Abbey in 1870 and received the religious name, Fr. Andreas.
Fr. Amrhein dreamed of founding a community that would live according to the Rule of St. Benedict and establish monasteries in the “foreign mission” to do apostolic work. His exemplars were the Anglo-Saxon Benedictine missionary Boniface and his companions who, with the support of Sts. Lioba, Thecla and Walburga, evangelized German-speaking northern Europe in the 8-10th centuries.
In 1884 he founded a mission house in Reichenbach, Oberfalz, Diocese of Regensburg, and received the first brother candidates. From this beginning developed the Congregation of the Missionary Benedictines of St. Ottilien. 
(see also: )
On September 24, 1885, the first four women candidates, who came from Westphalia, entered in Reichenbach. This is the Foundation Day of the present Missionary Benedictine Sisters.
In 1887 the entire community moved from Reichenbach to Emming in Upper Bavaria, Diocese of Augsburg, later called “St. Ottilien”.

In 1904 the new motherhouse of the Sisters was finished in Tutzing. On July 29 the community of Missionary Benedictine Sisters, under the leadership of the first prioress general, M. Birgitta Korff, moved from St. Ottilien to Tutzing.

Today the Sisters are very happy as a young lady, college graduate from South Dakota is entering the community as a postulant.  She seems to be a very good candidate so all you readers pray for her and for the grace of perseverance.  

Last week Keith Jiron visited me again.  It is always good to see him.  He again had to speak to the teachers in the Catholic school here and then stopped by after the meeting. We had a little lunch here at the house.  I believe Keith is now in Colorado as his mother was having surgery on her back I believe.  He just sent me a picture of him and Father James Spahn out fishing.  I was Father Spahn's chaplain during his junior year in college at Conception.  Now he is pastor of a large parish in the Archdiocese of Denver
 Father James Spahn on the left with Keith Jiron
And look at that fish.

About three weeks ago I got a phone call from my very good friend Benjamin Darnell.  Ben was a seminarian at one time but left the seminary after discerning he was not called to the priesthood.  In 2008 he married Alicia and I presided at their wedding  About two or three weeks ago Alicia had a seizure and was rushed to the hospital.  They found a tumor in her brain.  The doctors are now watching it very closely and many of us are praying everyday for her and Ben and their family.  They have two small children -- about 3 and 5 years of age.  
Ben and Alicia with their two children.
Ever since Ben left the seminary he has worked for the Church -- as a youth minister in three parishes and now as Director of Faith Formation in a parish in Kansas City.  Please keep them in your prayers.

Fall is now here and some of the trees are now beginning to change color.  This is a beautiful time of the year, but unfortunately we all know that winter follows fall.  But, let's thank God for this time of the year and enjoy it as long as we can.  I am thinking of driving to Yankton, South Dakota tomorrow just to see the open country and how the crops are looking and trees that are changing color.  Yankton is a little over an hour drive from here.  

Finally I invite you to visit the Missionary Benedictine Sisters facebook page at:

Have a good week and God bless you all.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Reflections on 60 years as a Benedictine Monk of Conception Abbey

September 8, 2014, I celebrate being a professed monk of Conception Abbey for 60 years.  This is the feast of the Birth of Mary and it was on that day that seven of us made vows in 1954.

In September, 1948, I first came to Conception as a sophomore in high school, thinking I had a vocation to the priesthood and wanting to begin my studies for that goal.  I was 15 years old at that time and for the first couple months I was a very home sick boy.  Many times I wondered if this was the place for me.  When we came in September we did not go home again until Christmas vacation.  But, I stuck with it and then, after my 2nd year in college I petitioned to enter the novitiate of Conception Abbey.  Having been accepted I entered the novitiate on September 7, 1953.  At the end of the novitiate I petitioned to take vows for three years and, again being accepted, I took my vows along with six other young men on September 8, 1954.  Originally eight of us entered the novitiate but one left around Christmas time that year.
 My mother and Dad visited me for the first 
time in the novitiate at Easter, 1954.  My Dad is 
holding the first grandchild, Joe.
On Easter Sunday of 1954 my entire family 
came to see me.  My younger brother, Ed, who
died of cancer in May 1955, is holding our
first nephew.
The seven who made profession of vows on
September 8, 1954.  This is when I received
the name of Kenneth.  My baptismal and
birth name was Maurice Peter.  
Shown above from left to right (using their new
names and the title Frater which is what we
were called then -- simply is "Brother" in Latin.
Shawn Ryan, Alexis Saathoff, Damian Parker, Kenneth Reichert, Father Maur Burbach,
Novice Master, Virgil Mudd, Owen Moran and Paul Kelly.
On the day I took vows, September 8, 1954,
with my Dad and younger brother, Ed.

When I took vows the Mass and the entire profession rite was in Latin.  We wrote  our profession of vows and read it in Latin.  We were given our new name in Latin by the Abbot.  No one could figure out my name since the Latin for Kenneth is "Canicus."  Very few, if any, knew my name until after the ceremony.  The Mass at that time was celebrated with the celebrant having his back to the people.  The Prior was the celebrant for the Mass, but Abbot Stephen (our third Abbot) received our vows.

On September 8, 1957, four of us took our solemn and final vows.  Three left the monastery at that time.  Paul Kelly, Damian Parker, Alexis Saathoff and myself made our solemn and final vows that day, September 8, 1957.
Solemn profession, Setember 8, 1957
Left to right:  Paul Kelly, Damian Parker, Kenneth Reichert & Alexis Saathoff
Of the four of us who made solemn profession together, I am the only one still living.

And so as I reflect after sixty years as a Benedictine monk, I most of all feel a spirit of gratitude.  Obviously, there have been ups and downs in my life, as there are for most of us.  But, I have to say I have always felt a sense of peace in doing what the Abbot 
or other superior has asked me to do and persevering in what I promised on that day in 1954.  I have known many great men who have been members of Conception Abbey and are now in heaven.  Now that I have an assignment outside the monastery, I always try to make it a point to visit the cemetery when I go home.  Many, many of those buried there I knew in my life.  Some of them were very dear friends.  All of them were my brothers.  

I also think so frequently of my family and all they gave me.  I have come to realize that when a young son or daughter leave home, it is more difficult for our parents than it is for us.  But, my parents always encouraged me and helped me financially to go to the seminary and to go forward in the life God wanted me to follow.  

Living through the years in the 1960's and 1970's were sometimes difficult.  I remember at one time in those years thinking that I made a mistake and should have been a diocesan priest.  But, after prayer and reflection I stayed where I was.  God's grace, I know, helped me to continue to be faithful to the vows I made.  

The shooting event at Conception Abbey on June 10, 2002, was a major event in the life of the community and certainly in my own life.  I was critically injured and sometimes wonder why God left me here.  I'm sure God had a plan and I can only hope I am doing what he had in mind for me.  I am just grateful that I can continue to serve in some way even as I am now over 81 years of age.

At this time I can only hope that with God's help I can continue to serve the Church and my brothers and sisters as long as I am able to do so.  When my home parish at Brunswick, Missouri celebrated my 60th anniversary when i was home in June, I had a card printed and on it was this prayer:

"Lord, you have given me so much.  Please give me one thing more, A GRATEFUL HEART."

God bless you all.