Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Founded on December 8, 1873, Conception Abbey celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception today as our special patronal feast. Other monasteries are certainly older than we are, but we have our own unique story. This feast day reminds us to reflect on the many possibilities behind the word “chosen.”
First of all, our early founders chose this particular location and placed the monastery under the patronage of Mary with the title The Immaculate Conception. The official Church proclamation of the title had come only 19 years earlier, December 8, 1854. This belief about Mary, however, dated back to the ancient Church Fathers. We can also surmise that the ever-practical and wise Abbot Frowin was also very keen about choosing Mary as the protector and faithful advocate for this fledgling community.
Through the abbey’s intervening 148 years of challenges and difficulties, Mary’s “Fiat” (Lk 1:38) has indeed been the banner of hope, calling superiors and monks alike to stand faithfully on the choices they have made.
In our presently unstable world, whether it be global or personal, can we turn to Mary’s example and choose the way of compassion and solidarity to build a better world?
Reflection by Fr. Daniel Petsche, OSB