Benedictine College's 'Marian Year' Begins

Benedictine College's 'Marian Year' Begins

Procession Kicks Off Benedictine College ‘Marian Year’

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

A Monday Marian procession is just the beginning of what is shaping into a major Marian year at Benedictine College.

September 8 was the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which marked the first anniversary of the Consecration of Benedictine College to the Blessed Virgin. It was also the fifth anniversary of the dedication of Mary’s Grotto.

Abbot James Albers  led a candlelight procession from St. Benedict’s Abbey Church to  Mary’s Grotto to renew the school’s consecration. Hundreds of students attended the ceremony which included Marian hymns and a reception.

A year after the college was consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Marian devotion continues to flower on campus. Examples include:

2014-15 Theme. Benedictine College announced its theme for the 2014-15 school year: ‘You Are the One I Have Chosen.’ The quote is taken from the words St. Juan Diego reported from Our Lady of Guadalupe at her second apparition in Mexico in 1531: “Listen, my child: There are many I could send, but you are the one I have chosen for this task.”

Residence Halls. The 10th and 11th new dorms we have opened since 2000, Lemke Hall and Our Lady of Guadalupe Hall, will be ready this fall. The latter is dedicated to the Star of the New Evangelization. Each room will feature a different Marian title.

St. Juan Diego Chapel. Msgr. Eduardo Chávez Sánchez will be on hand to dedicate Benedictine College’s newest chapel named for St. Juan Diego, who saw Our Lady of Guadalupe. Chavez was postulator for the cause of St. Juan Diego, who was canonized on July 31, 2002.

Marian Art. The college will unveil a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the dedication of Our Lady of Guadalupe Hall. The main entryway will feature a terrazzo Guadalupe medal.

Clock Tower. The new St. John XXIII Tower will now be a clock tower, with four-foot clocks facing each direction, and will play the fight song and Marian hymns.

Mary Garden. Benedictine College will install a new park in the center of campus featuring a fountain and plants and flowers named for devotion to the Blessed Mother.

Individual Consecration. Following a visit by Father Michael Gaitley, hundreds of Benedictine College students consecrated themselves to the Blessed Mother.

President’s Rosary. The President and Dean lead a rosary every Wednesday morning on campus.

Minnis said Benedictine College students have a special relationship to the Blessed Mother.

“We receive many applications and that as I sign the letters of those who have been accepted I pray a Hail Mary for that specific person asking Mary’s intercession in their lives,” he said. “It is through the grace of Our Lady that they are at Benedictine College. There are many she could send to Benedictine, but it is the ones attending the college that she has chosen for the task.”

In the 1999 document Ecclesia in America (The Church in America) St. John Paul II named Our Lady of Guadalupe “Patroness of all America and Star of the first and new evangelization.”

Our Lady of Guadalupe is a cherished devotion at Benedictine College. Students have used the Guadalupe Chapel on campus, in the crypt of St. Benedict’s Abbey, since the 1950s. In 2013 and 2014, Benedictine College  was one of a few Catholic colleges in the United States to be chosen to participate in the Vatican’s Ecclesia in America conference, which focused on Our Lady of Guadalupe.

“When we were looking for a theme for the school year, we came across the words of Our Lady of Guadalupe and immediately knew we found it,” said David Trotter, Director of Mission and Ministry. “We know these words will be the perfect tie-in as we form young men and women to answer Christ’s call to bring his Gospel into every sector of society.”

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.