ICLE’s 2024 National Conference

Planning Your Free Evening

JULY 11, 2024
The Feast of St. Benedict

Every year on the final evening of the conference, participants are given free time to relax and explore the local area. This year, we are happy to provide a few pre-arranged options for our conference attendees:

OPTION 1: STAY ON CAMPUS FOR DINNER AND / OR AN ENGLISH COUNTRY DANCE

Dinner

Cost: $20

Thursday evening’s dinner is not included in the cost of conference registration, as many conference participants will choose to dine off campus in the Atchison area during the free evening. However, if you plan to remain on the Benedictine College campus for the evening, you may reserve a dinner in the Dining Hall and pay the cashier at the door. Please complete the Conference Meals Form to secure your dinner reservation.

English Country Dancing*

Cost: Free

ICLE is pleased to arrange an evening of English Country Dancing, with live music on fiddle and guitar provided by the local band Pastiche and a dance caller.

Location: St. Benedict Catholic Elementary School, Fr. Gerard Senecal Gymnasium; the school building is located at 201 Unity Street, just across the street from St. Benedict Parish Church. Enter the Fr. Gerard Senecal Gymnasium from the 2nd Street parking lot.

Time: 7-9 p.m.

Description: Join us for a completely beginner-friendly experience; all steps will be taught in the course of the evening, and it is community-oriented, meaning that no partners need to be arranged in advance. Everyone will have the opportunity to dance, and if there is a gender imbalance it is normal for ladies to dance together as a “couple” for learning purposes. English Country Dance may be familiar to Jane Austen enthusiasts from movies based on her works, but is equally accessible to those with American-style country barn dance preferences. Expect a brisk, energetic tempo with old-time ambience and dress accordingly: sensible shoes and free-flowing skirts enhance both fun and comfort!

You will soon find yourself hooked by the achingly beautiful music, the elegant movements and the interaction with smiling people. If you have ever visited a foreign country, you may have experienced a slight disorientation mixed with a growing sense of wonder and joy. We now welcome you to the new experience of English Country Dance.

All are welcome!

Light refreshments will be provided.

*Authentic English Dancing Attire Not Required!

OPTION 2: VISIT ATCHISON

Cost: $20

Our friends at the Locally Atchison Main Street Program, an initiative of the Atchison Chamber of Commerce, have arranged a variety of visitor experiences especially for our conference attendees. Select from six different experiences here, some of which include refreshments.

Please contact Locally Atchison Director Jill Thorne at 913-367-2427 or jthorne@atchisonkansas.net with any questions.

OPTION 3: MAKE A LOCAL PILGRIMAGE

Cost: Free

Located just a 50-minute drive from Atchison, the monastery of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Gower, MO, a religious community of women seeking to emulate the hidden life of Mary as love in the heart of the Church, is worth a visit. When the sisters exhumed the body of their founder, Sr. Wilhelmina, in 2023, they found that it appeared to be incorrupt.

Thursday evening’s dinner is not included in the cost of conference registration, as many conference participants will choose to dine off campus in the Atchison area during the free evening. However, if you plan to visit Gower, you may wish to reserve a “to go” dinner in the Dining Hall and pay the cashier at the door. If you’d like to take a “to go” dinner with you for the drive to Gower, please reserve your meal through our Conference Meals Form.

The sisters welcome ICLE conference participants for a special visit on the Feast of St. Benedict:

  • 4:45 p.m. Pick up and pay for your pre-reserved “to go” dinner, if desired
  • 5 p.m. Depart campus
  • 6 p.m. Vespers in the Abbey Church, followed by time for private prayer
  • 6:45 p.m. Brief talk by one of the sisters in the church basement
  • Afterward, you are welcome to visit the sisters’ lovely gift shop and walk and enjoy the public areas of the monastery grounds, which are on the north end of the property (areas between the abbey complex and the road, including the orchard and cemetery).

If you are seeking a ride to Gower, or if you are offering a ride to others, please connect via this Gower Carpool Arrangements spreadsheet.

OPTION 4: EXPLORE THE LOCAL AREA ON YOUR OWN

There is plenty to do, see, and eat in the local area:

Favorite visitor attractions in the area include: