A Friend in Heaven
December 16th, is the dies natalis (heavenly birthday) of the Servant of God, Father Lukas Etlin, O.S.B., a monk of Conception Abbey. In 2008 I made a novena to Father Lukas beginning on November 16th. On the evening of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December 2008, I was given a picture of Father Lukas. I slipped it into the pocket of my habit before driving home. Less than fifteen minutes later I was the astonished and grateful survivor of a terrible automobile crash. No bumps, bruises, scratches, aches, or pains.
From Switzerland to Missouri
Father Lukas was born Alfred Etlin, on February 25, 1864 in Sarnen, the capital of Canton Obwalden in the foothills of the Swiss Alps. In 1886 young Alfred left the natural beauty of his homeland for the new monastery founded by Abbot Frowin Conrad in Conception, Missouri. Clothed in the Benedictine habit, Alfred became Frater Lukas. He made monastic profession on November 13, 1887 and was ordained a priest on the feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1891. He offered his First Mass