Benedictine College Celebrates Mary

Published: Saturday, September 8, 2018

A Prayer from the Heart

Nearly 1,000 well-wishers surrounded the Benedictine College campus on September 8, the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, offering a Rosary and embedding Miraculous Medals into the sidewalk along on the main campus drives and perimeter streets.

 

The event, billed as “A Prayer from the Heart,” was a celebration of Mary’s birthday and in thanksgiving on the fifth anniversary of Benedictine College’s consecration to Jesus Christ through the Blessed Mother.

 

“Mary always leads to her Son, and we want nothing more for our students than to thrive in their faith in Jesus Christ,” said Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis.

 

The “Prayer from the Heart” was based on national events in Ireland, Italy and Poland where participants lined the borders and prayed the Rosary in unison, surrounding their nations in prayer and protection. Organizers evoked the words of Pope Pius IX, who said, “Give me an army that recites the Rosary and I will conquer the world.”

 

At the event the college renewed its consecration tot Mary, and created a permanent Walking Rosary.

 

The monks of St. Benedict’s Abbey have a long tradition of embedding St. Benedict medals into the foundations of every building on campus. From the places where the miraculous medals are embedded the school will mark 59 spots, which will serve as markers for the prayers of the Rosary. The Walking Rosary begins at the entrance to campus with a Crucifix and winds its way through campus, ending up back down at the entrance.

 

Decades of the Rosary at the event were led by students Raven Baseball first-baseman Andrew Richards, and Olivia Wieger, who leads a Marian group on campus, as well as Sister Mary Ellen Auffert OSB of Mount St. Scholastica monastery, Father Simon Baker OSB, chaplain of Benedictine College, and President Minnis.

 

Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis said the celebration comes after years of relying on Mary.

 

“There’s no question we owe a great deal of thanks to the Blessed Virgin Mary,” said Minnis, who began planning the consecration not long after he participated in the Vatican’s 2012 “Ecclesia in America” international conference in Rome that was dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Star of the New Evangelization.

 

“I thought, ‘What a perfect time in our history to consecrate the college to the Blessed Virgin Mary.’ It was so significant and important to make a public statement of our love and reliance upon our Mother,” Minnis said.

 

Five years later, the 2018 event is a new “public statement” of appreciation for Mary as the school welcomes a record freshman class.

 

President Minnis leads a weekly rosary at the college on Wednesday mornings throughout the school year and the college added a daily rosary at the Grotto in 2017 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady of Fatima.

 

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 to Choosing a Catholic College.  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.