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Second grade students make retreat at Benedictine monastery

Second grade students make retreat at Benedictine monastery - (17-04-2013)

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Photo: Sister Jacqueline Steinbrenner, OSB shares the history of the monastery’s Adoration Chapel  with second grade students from St. Gregory’s School.

It has been several years, but second grade students at St. Gregory’s School in Maryville returned to the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration monastery on Monday in part to celebrate the passage of their First Communion.

“Because of monastery renovations, we have a few classes who weren’t able to visit after they made their First Communion,” teacher Jamie Casteel said. “So we were very excited to return with this year’s class.”

Each year, St. Gregory’s second grade students visit Conception Abbey and the Benedictine Sisters’ monastery to make a retreat after taking their First Communion. The retreat includes tours, lunch, learning about the daily life of monks and how altar breads are made, and to participate in Mass at Conception Abbey.

“The beauty of these kids is that the whole Eucharist experience is new for them,” Sister Ruth Elaine Starman, OSB said. “They haven’t been jaded by scandal in the church, and they aren’t arguing about church doctrine. They are just proud, happy and excited to be receiving Jesus.”

The 10 students, eight of whom are Catholic, were especially interested in the sisters’ Relic Chapel, which displays more than 550 relics in addition to the body of St. Beatrice. They also tried different types of altar breads, which are made by the Benedictine Sisters in Clyde.