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Friday, Aug. 10th 2018

Conception welcomes youth for liturgical leadership experience

Conception, Mo. – Summer is usually a quiet time of renewal on the campus of Conception Abbey and Seminary College as students are gone between semesters. However, campus buzzed with life last week, July 16-20, all because of a unique summer experience called, “One Bread, One Cup.”
 
One Bread, One Cup (OBOC) is a five-day liturgical leadership conference focusing on the Word, Sacrament, and Mission of the Roman Catholic Church for high school youth groups and their campus and youth ministers. Conferences focus on community building, leadership development, catechesis, liturgical and spiritual formation, and theological reflection.
 
The monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana began the program more than 20 years ago and currently host three sessions on their campus each summer.
 
Over the past two years, Fr. Brendan Moss, OSB, president-rector of Conception Seminary College, and a monk of Saint Meinrad, has nurtured a fourth summer session, held each year at Conception.
 
“Having been familiar with the program for more than 20 years, I knew it helped young people appreciate the truth and beauty of liturgy,” Moss said. “I wanted to bring it to Conception Seminary College, and under the direction of the executive director of OBOC at Saint Meinrad, it has happened.”
 
At the conference, participants learn the theology and skills necessary to become effective lectors, servers, sacristans, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, and cantors. They learn how music, prayer and hospitality, sacred art, and lay proclamation of the Gospel all play significant roles in the liturgy. The program directors aim to help young men and women become faithful and full members of the Catholic church community.
 
Fr. Etienne Huard, OSB, served as Conception’s One Bread, One Cup coordinator.
 
“I was inspired when I saw young people step up and take leadership roles in the liturgy,” he said. “They realized that they can have a vital and important role within their parish communities, and that, although they are young, they are in fact needed.”
 
Participants come to appreciate the Benedictine balance of prayer, work, and recreation.
 
“Conception Abbey is excited to have joined Saint Meinrad in teaching the youth to be full and active participants in the liturgy; to inspire the young to be bold in proclaiming the faith, and to witness to their peers on the beauty and life-giving liturgy,” Huard said.
 
Moss said this year’s program was a huge success.
 
“In five days, 50+ youth learned particular liturgical ministries and executed them beautifully: from sacristans and servers to musicians and cantors and beyond,” he said. “The adults were asking if there would be OBOC at Conception in the summer of 2019 even before they left.”
 
Hosting OBOC at Conception gives the monks an opportunity to draw in young people to learn about Conception Abbey and Seminary College. This program sets the stage for sharing Conception’s story and further inviting youth and the broader Church into a relationship with Benedictine communities.
 
“The high school youth who attend share in a discipleship panel,” Moss said. “For some, that means exploring their vocations. What a gift it would be if CSC were a college seminary of choice for the young men who attend OBOC and are discerning priesthood. Further, OBOC can introduce high school and college youth to the Abbey.”

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