FALLS CITY (SNR) – Parishioners from parishes in Richardson County participated in a pilgrimage Oct. 25 to celebrate the Year for Consecrated Life.
Nearly 70 pilgrims from St. Mary Parish in Arago, Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Falls City, and Immaculate Conception Parish in Rulo visited the Monastery of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, Mo., and Conception Abbey and Basilica.
The mission of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration is “a ministry of prayer, with a tradition of unceasing adoration of Christ in the Eucharist.” The monastery in Clyde was founded in 1874 by Mother Mary Anselma Felber. She and the sisters in her order came to the hills of northwest Missouri from the Swiss Alps.
The Sisters also make altar bread for use at Mass. The pilgrims from Nebraska visited the Sisters’ relic chapel, which houses more than 550 documented relics, sent in gratitude by religious houses helped by the sisters during World War I. They also visited the Sisters’ Romanesque chapel filled with mosaics, stained glass and wooden carvings, where the sisters pray in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
The pilgrims then traveled 3 miles down the road to Conception Abbey.
Conception Abbey is a monastery of the Swiss-American Congregation of the Benedictine Confederation. It was founded in 1873.
“At present,” the abbey’s website says, “the community numbers around 60 monks who celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours and the Eucharist daily, and who staff and administer Conception Seminary College, the Printery House, and the Abbey Guest Center.”
Monks also serve as parish priests and hospital chaplains in the Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph.
The main part of the pilgrims’ tour of Conception was the Basilica, the abbey church dedicated in 1891 and renovated in the 1990s. The pilgrims heard a talk from one of the monks about the history of the abbey, daily lives of the Conception Abbey monks, and the work that they do.
The group then assembled in the Basilica to pray and listen to the monk sing solemn Sunday Vespers (Evening Prayer of the Divine Office), as a reminder that a pilgrimage is not an ordinary trip, but a journey, both outward and inward, of the soul to grow closer to God.