Foundation of New Residence Hall Blessed

Foundation of New Residence Hall Blessed

Fr. Luke blesses the foundation of St. Gabriel Hall.
St. Gabriel Hall will be the next new building on Benedictine College’s Atchison, Kan., campus. The residence hall is set to open in the Spring of 2023 and will house 122 men. Groundwork has been underway and on December 8, 2021, the foundation was poured. In accordance with a long-standing Benedictine tradition, a blessed Medal of St. Benedict was placed in the concrete as it was poured. For this building, a blessed Medal of St. Gabriel was also included.

This new residence hall is named for St. Gabriel the Archangel, who famously announced to the Virgin Mary that she had been chosen to bear the Son of God.

“Gabriel appears several times in the New Testament, as well as in the Old Testament,” said Benedictine President Stephen D. Minnis during the ceremony. “And he is usually represented carrying a lily and often has a scroll, on which is written the words from St. Luke’s Gospel with which he greeted Mary.”

Blessed Medals in the foundation, awaiting concrete.The medal ceremony itself is a practice that dates back to the 1800s and the construction of some of the original campus buildings, Bishop Fink Hall and Elizabeth Hall, which is the original abbey. Both of those buildings, along with every other building on campus, has a blessed St. Benedict Medal in its foundation.

“This tradition relates to St. Benedict’s ability to sense danger and ward off evil during his lifetime,” Minnis said. “It is meant to protect the students and staff once they begin using the facility.”

Fr. Luke Turner, OSB, performed the blessing and students with names derived from Gabriel were invited to place the medals in the foundation.

“We have truly been experiencing a renaissance on our campus and this new residence hall is a sign of our continued growth and success,” Minnis said.

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, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and 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.