Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

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MO OBOC coming in 2017

September 16, 2016

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"One Bread, One Cup" - a five-day liturgical leadership conference for high school youth and the adults who minister to them - is coming to Conception, MO, in 2017.

For more than 20 years, the summer conferences (usually shortened to OBOC) have been held three times a year at Saint Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana. Next summer, a fourth conference will be added at Conception Abbey July 17-21, 2017.

At each conference, high school teens learn about their Catholic faith and delve deeper into the hallmarks of Word, Sacrament and Mission. They return to their parishes and high schools with leadership experience in some aspect of the liturgy.

Youth learn by experience and engage in daily celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours and Mass. Evening theological reflection offers a chance to process and integrate the "One Bread, One Cup" experience into the teens' daily lives.

Conferences include catechesis, liturgical and spiritual formation, and theological reflection. There are opportunities for personal prayer, liturgical prayer, charity and action in a community of peers. Time is also set aside for recreation and community.

A New Partnership

Fr. Brendan Moss, OSB, a monk of Saint Meinrad who is currently serving as president-rector of Conception Seminary College (a work of Conception Abbey), encouraged the idea of bringing the youth conference to Missouri.

"For almost all of the 20-plus years of OBOC, I have had the privilege of serving 'One Bread, One Cup' in one capacity or another. Each year, I have seen young men and women come to Saint Meinrad for five days and fall in love with liturgy," he says. 

"Year after year, teens come to OBOC and gain the skills, knowledge and habits necessary to achieve the 'full, conscious, and active participation' in the Mass and all liturgy, as envisioned by the Second Vatican Council. The central shift that all who participate in OBOC make is from observation to participation - and young people engaging fully, consciously, and actively in liturgy makes a pastor's heart leap for joy!"

Tammy Becht, the director of the OBOC program, offers her own perspective. "Having been a parish coordinator of youth ministry for 12 years and having brought over 50 high school teens to 'One Bread, One Cup' during those years, I have seen firsthand what a powerful experience it is for the young Church and its power to transform parish liturgies.

"Now serving as the director of the program, I recognize what a gift OBOC is to the young Church and I want to share it with as many youth as possible," she says.

"One Bread, One Cup" is a program of Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, which includes as its mission a desire to help lay persons "minister effectively in the service and evangelization of the Roman Catholic Church and the world."

That mission, according to Becht, "motivates us to provide outreach to a new geographic area of the country. By training youth in liturgical ministries, we are strengthening the Church as a whole and bringing glory to God through worship."

Learning to be Leaders

During the conference, the high school youth choose an area of liturgical formation to focus on, such as liturgical music, liturgical arts, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, prayer in the life of the Body of Christ, preaching for the Liturgy of the Hours, proclamation of the Word, master of ceremonies/server/sacristan, and hospitality and stewardship.

When asked what the youth will find at the conference in Conception next summer, Becht can already picture the new experience. "Participants at 'MO OBOC 2017' can expect the same level of excellence offered on the campus of Saint Meinrad. The hallmarks of Benedictine hospitality, community, conversion, work and prayer are integrated into the 'One Bread, One Cup' experience."

"Setting the conference at another Benedictine monastery and school provides a common atmosphere for our work at OBOC," she continues. "We'll offer the MO OBOC conference at Conception using many of the same staff members and the intern community as at Saint Meinrad next summer. We'll also welcome some of the monks of Conception Abbey to our conference lineup, so that the way of life at Conception is well represented."

Fr. Brendan concurs. "Just as at Saint Meinrad, the participants in MO OBOC will find a welcoming monastic community, a campus aptly designed for the OBOC experience and a Basilica that is a perfect setting for our communal experience of Reconciliation."

Since its inception more than 20 years ago, "One Bread, One Cup" has become a well-known program for youth, but it also offers a lasting opportunity for formation. "OBOC is a tool that can be used, long after the conference days are over, to enter even more deeply into every liturgy, every prayer, every encounter with God. The fruits of OBOC last long into one's life," emphasizes Becht.

"Now that we have the opportunity to offer this beautiful encounter with God to more young people, we are happy and anxious to step out in faith, to work hard and to bring the gospel and love of liturgy to even more of the young Church," she explains.

How to Register

Participants register as part of a group, which includes at least one adult youth leader and youth from the same parish or high school. Youth participants should have completed ninth, tenth or eleventh grade and be practicing Catholics. Adult leaders should be at least 21 and be practicing Catholics.

Fees and Scholarship Info

Tuition, room and board for the five-day conference is $550 per person. To begin the online registration, visit the website www.saintmeinrad.edu/oboc.

The group registration form and a $100 non-refundable (but transferable) deposit per participant must be received by March 1, 2017. Payment in full and individual registrations are due by April 15. After April 15, a $25 per person processing fee will be assessed.

Scholarship assistance is available for youth participants. Admission decisions are not affected by scholarship requests. Anyone interested in applying for a scholarship should email oboc@saintmeinrad.edu.

You can find more information at www.saintmeinrad.edu/oboc. Groups can register beginning November 1 through March 1, or as long as space is available.