Conception Abbey

Shown is an architect's computer-aided rendering of a new residence hall planned for the campus of Conception Seminary College, a four-year undergraduate institution that seeks to prepare young men for admission to the Roman Catholic priesthood. Proposed construction of the $10 million facility recently received a boost in the form of a $1 million gift to Conception Abbey's Brothers Living in Unity capital campaign.

CONCEPTION, Mo. — Conception Abbey and Conception Seminary College have announced that the Brothers Living in Unity capital campaign has received a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor.

The gift will help fund construction of a new college residence hall while also enlarging an endowment for retired monks.

“We are hopeful that this remarkable commitment to our future will challenge others to participate in this important campaign,” said the Rt. Rev. Benedict Neenan, abbot of the historic Benedictine institution in eastern Nodaway County.

"The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, believes greatly in the work of Conception Seminary College and hopes to see that service to the church continue well into the future."

Since announcing the campaign in April, dozens of Conception Abbey monks and volunteers have been conducting visits with potential donors. More than $7.5 million has been raised, more than half of the $14.5 million goal.

“Although we have just begun this three-year journey, we have already been tremendously blessed,” Neenan said. “This gift, along with the tremendous support of our campaign leadership and sponsoring dioceses, has positioned us well to help ensure that we address the urgent needs of housing for our seminarians and the care of our retired monks.”

With regard to the proposed $10 million residence hall, the Very Rev. Victor Schinstock, the four-year undergraduate college's president-rector, said the new facility — and the effort to fund it — “will strengthen the bonds of fraternity among our seminarians.”

“The Catholic Church needs priests who have lived in a community that fosters authentic Christian community experience in their parishes,” Schinstock said.

In addition to the residence complex, the campaign will make possible further investment in the Monastic Retirement Endowment, which funds the care of Conception’s retired monks, who live on the abbey campus.

 “To continue providing the benefits that our beloved monks deserve after a lifetime of service, both now and in the future, we must continue to expand our endowment,” Neenan said. 

For more information about the abbey's capital campaign, go to campaign.conceptionabbey.org.

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Staff writer Anthony Brown can be reached at tbrown@maryvilledailyforum.com or by calling the newspaper at 660.562.2424.