our good friends

At Turning to God’s Word we are grateful to and support the work of a number of organizations and special people. This page provides a glimpse into who they are and what they do.

ABBEY WEBConception Abbey—This Benedictine monastery in northwest Missouri was established in 1873 by monks from Engelberg, Switzerland. The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception features Beuronese murals depicting the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary and scenes from the lives of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica. Learn about the day-to-day life of the monks by reading Listen, my Son: Following Christ as a Benedictine monk of Conception Abbey.

website benedictine cross

Benedictine oblates—Visit these websites and blogs to learn more about Benedictine spirituality and about following The Rule of St. Benedict.

  • The oblates FAQ page on the Conception Abbey website answers the question: What is a Benedictine oblate? and also includes contact information for anyone wanting help in discerning whether God might be calling him or her to become a Benedictine oblate.
  • The same website offers recommended reading for oblates and upcoming oblate events at Conception Abbey. An oblates blog written by Fr. Albert Bruecken, O.S.B., oblate director at Conception Abbey, includes an archive of past blog entries by Fr. Kenneth Reichert, O.S.B., former oblate director.
  • The letters C.S.P.B. on the abbreviated Benedictine cross shown above stand for Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti (the cross of our holy father Benedict). Learn more about the long history of the medal or cross of St. Benedict. Among its approved uses (by a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites on March 6, 1959), the Blessing of St. Maur over the sick is permitted to be given with a Medal of St. Benedict instead of with a relic of the True Cross, since the latter is difficult to obtain.

CRUCIFIX IN PINES WEBour annual summer retreat at Conception Abbey
Watch for our summer retreat page to learn more or to register for this three-day event, which includes Catholic Bible study conferences, praying with the monks, and time for personal reflection. At our 2016 retreat, we looked at an overview of the Old Testament development of the role of priest that is fulfilled and perfected in Jesus Christ. Future retreats will focus on the Old Testament foundations of Jesus’ roles as king and prophet.

The Most Reverend Richard E. Pates
Bishop of the Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa

“For me as a Catholic, the praying of the Rosary joins the litany recitation of the Hail Mary with BP PATES WEBopportunity for meditation on the significant events in the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mother. Jennifer McGaw Phelps and Tami Palladino have immeasurably enriched such meditation by comparing the mysteries of the Rosary with citations from the Old Testament, bringing together the events of salvation history from the Old and New Testaments. In providing thought-provoking questions, the authors introduce rewarding meditation on the joyful, sorrowful, glorious, and luminous mysteries of the Rosary. For those who have grown to love the Rosary as I have and also for novices searching for a fruitful and readily accessible form of prayer, powerful insight into the mysteries of faith has been provided in Scripture and the Rosary: New Testament Mysteries, Old Testament Parallels. It is a pleasure to give approval to this work. I urge all to use this tool to grow in appreciation and further discovery of abundant riches to be found in praying the Rosary.”

Thomas J. Neal, Ph.D.
Professor of Spiritual Theology
Director of the Co-Workers Leadership Institute
Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans, Louisiana

“A new and fresh approach to the study of Sacred Scripture by Matthew Phelps has appeared on the TOM NEAL WEBscene, rooted in the ancient Catholic method of reading the Scriptures drawn from the Mass with a spirit of prayerful attentiveness to God’s Presence in the sacred texts. By means of evocative questions, Turning to God’s Word Daily Scripture meditations help to allow the Spirit to lead mind and heart into the depths of wisdom contained in the Bible and enter into a dialogue with God. Turning to God’s Word also has a dynamite book on the Rosary that draws on Scripture and Tradition in a user-friendly, rich, and beautiful way! I highly recommend Scripture and the Rosary: New Testament Mysteries, Old Testament Parallels for use in personal Scripture study or in parish programs, for example, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A) that wish to immerse God’s People in the living Word of God and aid them in preparing for a fuller participation in the Mass.”

St. Gregory Retreat Centers—These alcohol- and drug-abuse treatment centers strive to empower people to transform their lives through faith, hope, and compassion. Pairing an emphasis on the role that the seven virtues play in any change for the good with the latest scientific research and evidence-based tools for recovery, St. Gregory Retreat Centers provide hope that recovery is possible. Located in central Iowa, the centers serve people from all over North America.

ST AUGUSTIN WEBSt. Augustin Catholic Church —The stained glass windows featured in Scripture and the Rosary: New Testament Mysteries, Old Testament Parallels are located in this beautiful church in Des Moines, Iowa. Art of Prayer, a book by Jennifer McGaw Phelps, was written to raise money to restore the windows. The photographs in that book as well as the ones in Scripture and the Rosary were taken by Des Moines photographer Tom Knapp.