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Wednesday, May. 16th 2018

Conception Seminary College graduates 15

CONCEPTION, Mo. – Conception Seminary College celebrated the annual commencement ceremony in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on Saturday, May 12, 2018. Fifteen seminarians completed the requirements to earn undergraduate degrees and become alumni.

Conception Seminary’s annual spring commencement ceremonies also celebrated numerous seminarians and their academic achievements as they were honored with scholarships.

“This afternoon, we recognize the intellectual, human, and spiritual growth our graduates have experienced over the years,” said the Very Rev. Brendan Moss, O.S.B, President-Rector of Conception Seminary College as he welcomed those gathered for the ceremony. “Like your parents, family, and friends, we, the faculty and staff, and the monastic community are so very proud of you.”

Before the graduates received their diplomas, the Rev. Pat York, Vice-Rector and Dean of Students, delivered the commencement address. He spoke of St. Peter’s formation to become the leader of the apostles, and he painted a picture for the graduates and their guests to compare their lives to his.

“We have to acknowledge that we are sinful people,” he said. “In our relationship with our Lord, we have to realize that we are not yet what we are called to be. If we are overcome by our sinfulness, we have to realize that God sees us for who we are.”

He encouraged the graduates to be grateful for the moments God will give them to “rise above their pay grade” and do remarkable things because of their relationship with the Lord. He advised them not to forget to think, not how man thinks, but instead how God thinks.

“He wants us to abide in his love,” he said. “In that love is where you’ll find the grace to rise above your pay grade. In that love is where you will be able to go and to do what God the Father wants you to do and where God the Father wants you to go.”

Seminarians completing their studies at Conception Seminary College usually continue their priestly formation at a theological seminary in the Midwest or Rome, Italy. Their graduate studies typically continue for another four years before they are ordained priests in the Roman Catholic Church.

Graduates receiving their Bachelor of Arts with diocesan affiliation are:

  • Seth J. Arnold, Diocese of Wichita in Kansas
  • Dylan Stuart Crawley, Diocese of Lubbock in Texas
  • Matthew Christopher Ebberwein, Diocese of Wichita in Kansas
  • Juan José González Lara, Archdiocese of Omaha in Nebraska
  • Daniel R. Gormley, Diocese of Tulsa in Oklahoma
  • Cole Bradley Johnson, Diocese of Salina in Kansas
  • Matthew Peter Lorang, Diocese of Jefferson City in Missouri
  • Charles Mark Adam Peirano, Diocese of Springfield – Cape Girardeau in Missouri
  • Ryan Lee Ramirez, Diocese of San Angelo in Texas
  • Benjamin Gilbert Snyder, Diocese of Davenport in Iowa
  • Daniel Joseph Wendel, Diocese of Little Rock in Arkansas

Students who have already completed undergraduate degrees at other institutions and completing the Conception Seminary Pre-Theological Program receive their Bachelor of Philosophical and Theological Studies.

Graduates receiving their Bachelor of Philosophical and Theological Studies with diocesan affiliation are:

  • Luke Patrick Friess, Diocese of Salina in Kansas
  • Robert K. Schroeder, Diocese of Salina in Kansas
  • Dillon J. Spies, Diocese of Grand Island in Nebraska
  • Casey Joseph Zimmerman, Diocese of Salina in Kansas

Seth Arnold, a graduate of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, was honored for High Academic Achievement in the Senior Class.

Mr. Luke Friess of the Diocese of Salina in Kansas receives his diploma from Abbot Benedict.

Each year, a seminarian is nominated by students, faculty, and staff for reception of the Alan Brown Distinguished Service Award for service to the community during their time at Conception Seminary College. Luke Friess, a graduate of the Diocese of Salina in Kansas, received this year’s award.

When he spoke on behalf of the graduating class, Friess offered much gratitude. Most importantly, he said “is our gratitude to God, who brought us to this place, at this time, to meet these people.

“Truly, the Lord is not to be outdone in generosity,” he told his classmates. “Let us have deep gratitude as we look back at our lives, realizing we are not the men that we once were. He has changed us. And for that, we can all say, ‘thanks be to God.'”

Graduation celebrations continued with a banquet for the graduates and their families and concluded with a Mass of Thanksgiving Sunday morning, ending the 2017-2018 academic year at Conception Seminary College.

To see more photos from the commencement ceremony, check out the Conception Seminary College Facebook page.

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