Field of Prayers | Benedictine College

Field of Prayers

Medal Ceremony at Asher Sports Complex

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The new baseball and softball facilities at Benedictine College are more than a Field of Dreams — today they became a field of prayers.

On a sunny, 70-plus degree day, Benedictine College chaplain Father Brendan Rolling OSB blessed medals of St. Benedict, St. Peter and St. Sebastian, patron saint of athletes, and placed them in the foundation of the college’s new baseball and softball facilities — the Asher Sports Complex.

The ceremony goes back generations. Monks have been embedding blessed St. Benedict Medals in the foundations of campus buildings for as long as anyone can remember. Father Brendan said he added St. Sebastian because he is the patron of athletes and St. Peter at the request of a baseball player with a devotion to the saint.

Attending the ceremony were Jim and Pat Asher, who donated the land for the facilities, and Mary and Robert Asher, alumni and employees of Benedictine College.

The Asher family donated seven acres of land adjacent to Benedictine College’s Larry Wilcox Stadium, allowing the college to expand to the north. Members of their Raven family include James’74; Martin ’77; John ’80; Mary ’80; Paul ’85; Elizabeth Gruenbacher ’86 and Robert ’89.

Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis introduced the event, praising the family for their vision for the land, which allows the college to expand to the south, with plans to build a student recreation center beside a much-needed new parking lot on the site of the old ballparks.

“We will be forever grateful to Jim and Pat Asher and their family for this generous investment in Benedictine College’s baseball and softball programs,” said Minnis. “We look forward to gathering with the campus and greater Atchison community to watch the first pitch at the new Asher Sports Complex in the future.”

Olsen Stadium for baseball, which Michael and Marlys Haverty funded and named after Marlys’ father, Kenneth Olsen, will be a 300-seat facility with a turfed infield and new scoreboard. The Raven softball field will be built as a 150-200 seat venue with a restroom and a new scoreboard.

President Minnis also thanked David and Sherri Laughlin for making the turfed Laughlin Field possible.

“It was by no accident we chose the current location to live when we moved to Atchison almost 50 years ago,” said Pat Asher. “The cross above the Abbey Church beckoned to us when we strolled through the neighborhood in search of a place to build our home. That cross throughout the years has continued to deepen our appreciation of the Benedictine monks and sisters with whom we’ve been associated since moving to town.”

She added, “It is our privilege to give to the Benedictine community the seven and a half acres of land adjacent to our home to help meet the college’s need for expansion, necessitated by its growing enrollment. We look forward to our association with Benedictine College for many years to come.”

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.