New Statue, Award Help Benedictine College Mark Mother Teresa’s Sainthood

New Statue, Award Help Benedictine College Mark Mother Teresa’s Sainthood

Published: Friday, September 2, 2016

Benedictine College unveiled a new statue of St. Teresa of Calcutta and presented Fr. Meinrad Miller, OSB, with the “Do Something Beautiful for God” Award on September 2 as part of Mother Teresa Days on the school’s Atchison, Kan. campus. The 11-day celebration began on August 26, Mother Teresa’s birthday, and ends on Sept. 5, which will be her first Feast Day as a saint. Two sisters of the Missionaries of Charity, the order she established, were in attendance to help with the ceremonies.

“This statue is based on the painting you can see inside the Mother Teresa Nursing Center and is a fitting reminder of what Mother Teresa has asked of us and especially our nurses: ‘to give our hands to serve and our hearts to love,’” said Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis.

Sister Trinidad, MC, and Sister Flora, MC helped unveil the white marble statue and also helped present the award to Fr. Meinrad. They said they were honored to be invited to the ceremonies and passed out special commemorative medals and prayer cards.

Fr. Meinrad came to Benedictine College in 1984 from the small town of Leoti, Kan. Known then as Stanley Miller, he immediately became engaged with social service activities on campus and was part of the group that started the Hunger Coalition, now a mainstay of service to the needy of Atchison. He was one of the first students to ever deliver sack lunches in the town. While on campus as a student, he was also a member of the Chamber Singers and Knights of Columbus. He graduated in 1989 with a degree in Religious Studies and a minor in Music. He heard God’s calling to the priesthood and went on to earn his Masters of Divinity at St. Vincent’s Seminary and joined the ranks of St. Benedict’s Abbey.

He served Benedictine College as Chaplain from 1994 until 2010 and still teaches in the Theology Department. He also serves the faith formation of our young men and women as Chaplain at Maur Hill-Mount Academy. Within the Abbey, he is Director of Oblates. In 1997, while serving as Chaplain, he began working with Dr. Ted Sri and Curtis Martin to start the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. FOCUS officially began in 1998 with two missionaries on the Benedictine campus, and the organization now has more than 550 missionaries on 125 campuses nationwide.

In 2008, he began his work with the Missionaries of Charity, offering seminars and leading them in retreats, helping them to accomplish their mission. He worked with the St. Louis house and in 2011, made his first trip to Calcutta to visit the Motherhouse. There, he gave a talk to the missionaries about the Paschal Mystery.

“We are proud of Fr. Meinrad and his service to the Church and community,” said President Minnis. “Thank you for all you do.”

Mother Teresa Days Events on the Benedictine College campus have included:

  • Aug. 26 - Mother Teresa’s Birthday; birthday cake in the Dining Hall and Freshman Alpha Retreat with Mother Teresa focus.
  • Aug. 27 - Mother Teresa’s Baptismal Day; block party, campus buildings and fountains will be lit blue in honor of Mother Teresa until her first feast day.
  • Aug. 30 - All-School Mass and Convocation featuring Dr. Michael Boland, a neurosurgeon whose missionary service in Guatemala follows in Mother Teresa’s footsteps, and Father Nathan Haverland, an alumnus priest.
  • Aug. 31 - Mother Teresa movie, The Letters, shown on campus.
  • Sept. 2 – St. Teresa of Calcutta statue unveiled in front of the Mother Teresa Center for Nursing and Health Education.  Fr. Meinrad Miller, OSB, received the “Do Something Beautiful for God” Award.
  • Sept. 2 – 4 – The City of Atchison lights the Missouri River Bridge in blue and white in honor of the canonization.
  • Sept. 4 - Mother Teresa’s Canonization Day. Students at Benedictine College’s Florence campus will attend the canonization. Watch party in Kansas.
  • Sept. 5 - Mother Teresa’s feast day celebrated with four Masses on campus.

President Minnis said Mother Teresa has been important to the college.

“Mother Teresa is a key model for our students, combining commitment to the faith and service to others,” he said. “We are proud of the impact her life, message and visit made on Benedictine College.”

Mother Teresa visited the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica Monastery in Atchison on June 9 and 10, 1981, when Benedictine College operated a South Campus at the Mount.  While in Atchison, she said, “I beg you to give Jesus to the young people in your care.” 

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.