Benedictine College to Honor St. John XXIII on His Canonization Day

Benedictine College to Honor St. John XXIII on His Canonization Day

College will Name New Tower after Vatican II Pope

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

p>The St. John XXIII Tower will greet students when they return to Benedictine College this fall.  

On April 27, when Pope Francis canonizes Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, Benedictine College will honor both saints. The college previously announced plans to honor Blessed John Paul II with a building naming. Now, the college has announced that it will name the new distinctive tower after John XXIII.

“This really is a celebration of the Second Vatican Council,” said President Stephen D. Minnis. “John XXIII opened the Council, Pope John Paul II helped guide it as a cardinal and then implemented it as Pope.”

The tower, currently under construction, will be completed over the summer as part of a building complex that includes a dining hall, the Student Success Center and Our Lady of Guadalupe Hall, a residence hall for women.  It will be a visible feature from many spots on campus.

The college’s citation for the naming of St. John XXIII Tower states:

“A tower is an architectural feature that symbolizes vision. From within one can see far into the distance, and the tower itself can be seen from far away — it serves as a guidepost. St. John XXIII was a pope of vision. He saw the problems of the modern world and had the courage to offer a response – the Second Vatican Council. He knew that the Church must look to the future without fear and he saw that the modern world needed to look to the Church as a guidepost, a beacon of hope toward which the eyes of all peoples of the world are turned.”

In addition to the tower naming on April 27, Benedictine also has a set of poster s on the social encyclicals of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II on display during the week leading up to their canonizations.  Available for viewing daily in the Laughlin Rotunda of the Ferrell Academic Center, the exhibit was put together by the Benedictine College Economic Society and the Catholic Social Teaching class co-taught by Dr. Richard Coronado from the Economics Department and Dr. John Rziha from the Theology Department.

Dr. Coronado says Pope John XXIII’s influence on social thought is still felt in the Church to this day.

“John XXIII’s Pacem et Terra is one of my favorite social encyclicals,” he said. “One of the things I like about it is the formula he started using: truth, justice, charity, freedom. Pope Benedict XVI picked up that refrain, but changed the formula, for good reasons, to truth, charity, justice, freedom. Pope Francis echoed it right out of the gate in his address to diplomats. In one way or another, all the social encyclicals since John XXIII have included some variant of that formula.”

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.