Conception’s ninth abbot tries to make sense of the shootings. In an effort to understand and help authorities, the abbey staff went through press files, employment records, seminary rosters and guest registries looking for any tie between Mr. Jeffress and Conception.
Archive for Gregory Polan
KANSAS CITY – Four Benedictine monasteries are located within a hundred-mile radius of the Chicago suburb where Abbot Gregory Polan grew up. He joined one that was 450 miles away. He attended Niles College, Loyola University and the American Conservatory of Music. During his second year in college, he visited a high school classmate who had moved to Oklahoma and was attending Conception College Seminary.
The presence of so many friends of Conception Abbey here this evening is a great gift to us. The outpouring of prayerful support, heartfelt sympathy, and hope-filled encouragement has enabled us to moved forward with faith. As I have said before, we have been living on a strength that is not our own. We have tangibly seen God’s grace touching our lives through you; we have tangibly seen God’s grace active within our monastic community, allowing light to shine through the dark events of 10 June 2002. Your presence here this evening honors our slain and wounded brothers, Fr. Philip and Bro. Damian, Fr. Kenneth and Fr. Norbert, and it encourages us who strive to follow Christ under The Rule of St. Benedict in this little corner of God’s great creation. We thank you most sincerely.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
(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.
This afternoon, the gunman’s daughter told Missouri detectives that in Mr. Jeffress’s youth he was a devout Catholic but that in recent years, he had occasionally attended a Methodist church. Why and when Mr. Jeffress left the Catholic Church remained a mystery, Sergeant Lyon said. That left equally unclear whether there was any tie between the killings and the American Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis.
A day after Jeffress killed two monks and wounded two others before turning the gun on himself, police say the shootings don’t make much sense. They say there doesn’t seem to be any link to the sexual abuse scandal plaguing the Roman Catholic church.
It was not known whether the attack bore any relation to the sexual abuse scandal that has shaken the Roman Catholic church in the United States and provoked several suicides and the shooting of at least one priest, in Baltimore, last month.
Polan said the worst trouble the monks — who lead a simple life of work and prayer — had faced until Monday was a few dollars missing from an outdoor collection box.
(St. Joseph News-Press) CONCEPTION, Mo. — The Benedictine monastery located in the rolling hills of Northwest Missouri was founded in 1873 by the Rev. Frowin Conrad as a community for “ora et Labora,” a Latin phrase meaning prayer and work.
Gunshots that broke the peace in the prayerful halls of Conception Abbey on Monday ricocheted in grief, shock and confusion throughout the Catholic community in Northwest Missouri.