Conception, Missouri

Completed in 1891, the abbey church at Conception was one of the first churches in the United States to be designated a basilica.  To initiate its second century, the monastic community undertook the development of a campus-wide master plan that included an extensive renovation of the church.  Construction was phased over several years for economy.

A revised floor plan relocates the altar and brings the monastic choir stalls forward in order to strengthen the relationship between the monks and their guests. The church seats 500, including 100 monks in the choir.  A highlight of the renovation program is the new reservation chapel.  Octagonal in form, the chapel forms a free standing pavilion attached to the body of the church

Other improvements include restoration of the original Beuronese wall murals; building and installing a new organ; constructing a new lantern high over the transept; and adding new heating and air conditioning systems.  A new copper roof clads the exterior, and the new granite floor is highlighted by an orchestra of light that enhances the liturgy.