All week, having traveled here to give a Day of Recollection for the seminarians, I’ve been drinking in the big skies and long views of northern Missouri.

A mile or so from Conception Abbey, at the end of a trail that winds through fields and vale, lies the Mary Grotto: dedicated to a seminarian who died here several years ago.

Another day I went out at dusk, just before Evening Prayer, and walked the perimeter of the pond. The clouds, while benevolent, seemed a force of nature: bearing down, enveloping, incorporating,shifting,  incarnating.

The next afternoon it snowed, the first fall of the season..


  1. Beautiful photos! Beautiful snow! Glad your time at Conception was graced.

  2. There's nothing more edifying than being around seminarians. I attend some of the public events in our local seminary. One feels that the future of the Church is in very good hands, inspite of it all. Their faith and focus, youthful energy in their committment to saving our souls, gives me great hope. I live close to the North American College in Rome and see them walking over the Tiber early in the morning on their way to classes at the various pontifical institutes. God bless them all and their future ministries. Thank you Heather for your vocation and your tireless work for the love of Christ.


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