Author Archives: Bro. David O.S.B.

About Bro. David O.S.B.

Br. David is a monk of Conception Abbey and webmaster for The Printery House.

Personalize Christmas Cards in a Matching Color

Have you ever wanted to personalize Christmas Cards with your own text and have it match the color of the text that is already there? Now you can! 

On cards enabled for Online Designing which have a colored inside text, we now provide a color palette so that you can select the exact color of the inside text.

In the Online Designer for the selected card, under Font Color, click the “Choose” button:

Use the Choose button under Font color to open the Color Palettes.

In the box that pops up, you will see a color palette with one or more Inside Text colors:

The Color Palette Tab allows you personalized your card with the exact matching text color.
Click the color box to choose the color.

If you prefer, you can still select the CMYK tab to choose any color you want for your personalization. (Note that this does not change the color of the text that is part of the card design.)

Choose any color text to personalize Christmas cards.
Click in the color box, slide the spectrum slider, or enter CMYK numbers to specify an exact color.

If you decide you’d rather go back to black, click the revert button:

This button will revert the color to black.

Using our online designer to personalize Christmas cards is a great way to save time. It adds a personal touch, but you don’t have to write it by hand. It also may be easier to read than your handwriting. Even if you have beautiful handwriting, it is easy to make a mistake when you are writing personal messages on several cards. Let us add your personal message for you. You can still sign the cards and add individual notes before you send them.  

Remember, starting this year all of our personalized cards and notes are ordered by the piece. Order exactly the number of cards you need (or maybe a few extra). You no longer have to order in multiples of the package quantity. Minimum orders apply.

Click here to learn more about personalizing cards.

Happy designing!

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Madonna and Child Portrayed in Art

The Madonna and Child has been a popular subject of art since the Renaissance. The portrayals of Mary with her infant Son were objects of devotion. To learn more, see this article on Madonna and Child artwork from the National Gallery of Art:

In Depth: Madonna and Child

Not surprisingly, every year depictions of the Madonna and Child are among the most popular of our Christmas cards.

Madonna and Child Christmas Card
Madonna and Child of the Trees by Irina Lombardo

However, we also get one or two notes or calls each year from people who are offended by the depiction of the infant Jesus in the nude. If this style of art shocks or offends you, please choose from one of our other designs. But know that this way of depicting our Lord has a long history, and is not meant in any way to offend. It comes from a less sexualized culture which viewed children as innocent and pure. In particular, the portrayal of Christ nude emphasizes his true humanity.

Furthermore, the addition of a halo or nimbus around Christ’s head (not present in all depictions) indicates his divinity. Often, when Christ appears in art with other saints, his nimbus incorporates a cross while the others do not. This distinguishes divinity from human sanctity.

Many depictions of Mary and Jesus focus on their humility and humanity. This kind of imagery makes them more accessible. Take this American piece, for example:

Christmas Card with a tender portrayal of the Holy Family

Religious Christmas art makes people feel connected with God. They can relate to images of a mother and child. Some prefer more traditional images that emphasize the sacred. Others prefer more human, “homey” images. Some like paintings, while others like mosaics. Some like icons or stained glass-style images. Whatever your taste in art, The Printery House has a religious Christmas card for you!

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Monastic Formation: Making a Monk

This article describes in brief the process of monastic formation that a man goes through to become a monk. This is how it happens at Conception Abbey. Other monasteries may have different procedures or terminology.

First Steps

Those just visiting the community may be termed “prospects” or “candidates.” Either term may be used interchangeably. Vocation guests may be allowed to eat with the monks or to sit with us in our choir stalls at prayer. They may also get opportunities to work with one or more of the monks.

After a period of discernment and communication with the vocation director, a man may decide to ask to test his vocation within the community. After completing an application process and being accepted by the vocations committee, he may come to live with us. At this point we call him a postulant. He has “postulated” himself as a potential member of the community.

Becoming a Novice

If the postulant and the community discern that it is God’s will, he may next proceed to a more formal period of monastic formation or training as a “novice.” According to church law, the “novitiate” or period of being a novice must last at least one year. So if you enter novitiate in August, you could, God willing, profess vows a year and a day later, the following August.

Simple Vows

A new monk first professes vows that will last for three years. During this time, he is a “junior” monk. He receives a new name at profession and is called “Brother.”

Supporting Those in Monastic Formation

Young men in the process of discernment and monastic formation need lots of prayers. Please pray for our novices. Pray, too, that God will send us more good men to seek God in the monastic life. If you know someone making vows, send a card.

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What is a Religious Profession Anniversary?

Celebrating the Day We Dedicated Our Lives to This Community

Monks of Conception Abbey who celebrated their Religious Profession Anniversary on August 15.This article explaining the religious profession anniversary is a follow-up to last month’s article on Religious Profession.

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15 is a special day at Conception Abbey. For the past several years, most of the monks of Conception Abbey have professed their first vows on August 15. As a result, many of us share a common religious profession anniversary.

Every night at supper we announce the names of monks celebrating their religious profession anniversary the following day. We also announce death and ordination anniversaries. (If there will not be reading for some reason, we announce an extra day or two ahead.) The list for most days fits in the space for a day on the calendar. Because the group is so big, the list for August 15 takes almost a whole page!

Jubilee: A Special Religious Profession Anniversary

On a broader scale, it is not just monks who celebrate their anniversary. Many vowed religious men and women celebrate the anniversary of their profession. It is just like married couples celebrating the anniversary of their wedding. A significant religious profession anniversary of 25 or 50 years is called a jubilee. It is also common to call anniversaries of 60, 70, or 75 years a jubilee.

Origin of “Jubilee”

Not surprisingly, the term “jubilee” is actually biblical. In Leviticus 25:8-13 we read how God instructed the Israelites to

            “…count off seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the period of seven weeks of years gives forty-nine years…. 10 And you shall hallow the fiftieth year and you shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you…”

Celebrating with Them

Celebrating You on Your Golden Jubilee - Religious Profession Anniversary CardSince the monks of Conception Abbey run The Printery House, we understand religious profession. We are ready to help you celebrate with all of the special religious sisters, brothers, and priests in your life. Check out our selection of cards for Religious Profession and Profession Anniversaries.

For religious themselves and their communities, our series of ordination invitation materials contains some pieces appropriate for celebrating profession anniversaries and jubilees. Here are some of the more appropriate general designs:

We custom print all of these pieces with your own text inside.

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