CONCEPTION, Mo. — The doors at Conception Abbey are still unlocked, and forgiveness was the reigning theme as the members of the rural monastery quietly remember a day of horror five years ago Sunday.
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Lloyd Robert Jeffress, a 71-year-old retiree, walked into the abbey 90 miles north of Kansas City on the morning of June 10, 2002, and opened fire with an AK-47 assault rife, killing two monks and leaving two others seriously injured. Jeffress later killed himself. Advertisement
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Investigators later noted Jeffress was still unhappy over the Catholic church granting an annulment of his marriage in 1979 and was in poor health.
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If anything, the shooting helped reinforce the teachings of St. Benedict, the founder of the abbey's religious order, who instructed monks to keep death before their eyes as a way to gain perspective of how they live their lives.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Conception Abbey - Five Years Later
Five years after two monks are shot and killed and two others are injured at the abbey, the doors remain unlocked, and the deaths haven't shaken monks' beliefs.