Lent is here once again. This coming Wednesday on February 22, we begin the Lenten season with the blessing and imposition of ashes. During this season it is always good to keep in mind that we are "looking forward to the joy of Easter." That is the major feast we are preparing for during the Lenten season. We monks at Conception write down the good works we plan to do during Lent and give them to the Abbot. We go in to see him and receive a blessing that we can and will be faithful to what we set out to do at the beginning of the Lenten season.
This past week I had the misfortune to break off another tooth (the second one in the last six months) and so had to make another trip to the dentist who is in Maryville. It was part of a partial plate that I have and since it was the only good tooth on my upper jaw on the right side, he had to pull it and then it will be placed in the partial plate I have. Dentists can do a lot now days but it does cost.
I have been keeping busy especially in the Oblate Office. About this time every year I send a letter out to the oblates along with a renewal of oblation card. I ask them to return the card so we know that they still want to be an oblate of Conception Abbey. This year I also sent out a questionnaire with the letter so I am try to record all those things when they are returned.
A couple weeks ago I got to spend a couple days with my brother Harold and his wife Dee. They live in Kansas City and are both 85 years old. It's always good to be able to spend a little time with them. There were five boys in our family (no girls) but now there are only two of us still living.
I also got to spend some time with my good friends Benjamin and Alicia Darnell and their little son, Isaac. Benjamin works as youth minister in a parish at Wea, Kansas, just south of Kansas City on the Kansas side.
Alicia and Ben with Isaac
Work is progressing well on the new St. Gabriel Guest House. I am posting a couple pictures so you can see how things are going.
Most of the copper roof is now on.
For more photos of the St. Gabriel guest house as construction continues -- click