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Deception in Conception, Missouri » 2002 » June

Archive for June 27, 2002

Priest shares thoughts on church scandals

My understanding is that the shooting incident at Conception Abby had to do with a matter that was completely unrelated to the “sex scandal.”

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Murder-Suicide at Conception Abbey

The St. Joseph News-Press reports the mid-morning shootings at Conception Abbey located in rural Missouri on Monday, 10 June. Three persons, including two monks, were killed by gunfire. Both monks had been at the Abbey for over 30 years. Abbot Gregory Polan OSB heard six shots from near the business office and phoned emergency services. The person who shot the monks, Lloyd Robert Jeffress, 71, lived in a seniors’ housing complex in Kearney, MO, and was unknown to the Abbot and the monks. He was found dead in the Basilica with two weapons, “a replica AK-47 assault rifle and a Ruger .22-caliber rifle,” according to Ben Espey, the county sheriff. The assailant died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Two other monks were also injured and rushed to local hospitals.

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Homily by Abbot Gregory Polan, OSB

I would like to begin by thanking in my name and in the name of all the monks of Conception Abbey the representatives of religious and diocesan communities, our own bishop, Raymond Boland, and truly all of you, most sincerely for your presence and your participation here today at this Mass of Christian Burial for our confreres, Father Philip and Brother Damian.

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Hundreds pay final tribute in Conception

(St. Joseph News-Press) CONCEPTION, Mo. — The Rev. Philip Schuster and Brother Damian Larson finished their lives’ work Friday morning when their brethren solemnly took them to St. Columba cemetery, a short walk from their decades-long home — Conception Abbey.

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Altar Boy’s Testimony

At the time of this writing, we don’t know the answer to the question “Why?” for what happened at Conception Abbey. One cannot help but wonder if Mr. Jeffress was once an abused altar boy, exacting his revenge on the innocent clergy.

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Diocese paper tracks divorce

More details about the mysterious life of the Conception Abbey shooter are coming to light days after he killed two monks and wounded two others before he killed himself.

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Answers still unclear in Conception shooting

CONCEPTION, Mo. (KRT) – The basilica bells at Conception Abbey tolled more than 80 times beneath storm clouds Tuesday morning, marking the number of years two monks shot and killed here had dedicated to their faith.

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Did grudge over divorce spark shooting spree?

CONCEPTION, Mo. (AP) — A grudge over a 43-year-old divorce and later annulment could be the motive behind a shooting rampage at a Roman Catholic abbey, investigators say.

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Shooter seen as bitter over divorce

(St. Joseph News-Press) Lloyd Jeffress was angry with the Catholic Church. “He was very bitter toward the church because of a divorce years ago,” said Sgt. Sheldon Lyon of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “We believe that’s a good possibility of why he committed these acts.”

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Abbey Gunman’s Divorce Investigated

CONCEPTION, Mo. — The man who killed two monks and wounded two others at a Roman Catholic abbey was unhappy about how the church treated him after he divorced his wife, The Associated Press learned Wednesday.

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Acquaintances say Jeffress once was devout Catholic, ‘had a bad temper’

Chuck and Sue McDougan always had a hard time getting Lloyd Jeffress out of their minds. Now that they’ve learned Mr. Jeffress shot four monks, killing two of them Monday at Conception Abbey, the couple will never forget him.

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Abbey killer was upset with church about his divorce

Abbey officials said they had found nothing in their guest, seminary and employment records to link Jeffress to Conception Abbey. Investigators said they had no evidence connecting the shootings to the sex abuse scandal in which Catholic priests have been accused of molesting children.

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Slayings at monastery prompt deep look into 71-year-old shooter’s life, final acts

(St. Joseph News-Press) CONCEPTION, Mo. — A lone Missouri State Highway Patrol investigator, Sgt. David Merrill, is struggling to re-create the life of the formerly devout Catholic who went on a murdering rampage at Conception Abbey.

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Monks offer funeral service

(St. Joseph News-Press) The monks of Conception Abbey have offered to participate in the funeral service of the man who killed their brothers Monday.

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Monks won’t alter habit of hospitality

(St. Joseph News-Press) CONCEPTION, Mo. — For more than 1,500 years, Benedictine monks have welcomed the world through their doors. One 21st-century gunman isn’t going to change a tradition that’s survived the Dark Ages and wars.

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