• 31 Dec

    Benedictine Monastery Working to Preserve Ancient Islamic Texts

    At first he may seem something of a contradiction: A Benedictine monk working preserve Islamic manuscripts. But Father Columba Stewart says while Christian manuscripts have been the main focus of his work for almost two decades, extremists like the Islamic State group have changed that.

  • 31 Dec

    This Benedictine Monk Travels The World Helping Preserve Centuries-Old Manuscripts, Cultural Heritage

    Father Columba Stewart has spent more than a decade traveling to some of the world’s most dangerous regions — Iraq, Syria, the Balkans — to find and preserve manuscripts, many of them centuries old. And now, with the rise of ISIS, his work has become more urgent than ever. The 59-year-old Benedictine monk has so far helped locals photograph an estimated 140,000 manuscripts, over 50 million handwritten pages. He’s director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and joins Here & Now's Robin Young to discuss his work.

  • 31 Dec

    Obituary for Father Bryan Beaumont Hays, OSB

    Surrounded by confreres, Father Bryan died peacefully on March 2, 2017, in the retirement center at Saint John’s Abbey. He is survived by a half-brother and half-sister, nieces and nephew and the monastic community of Saint John’s Abbey. The monks, family, and friends will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial for Father Bryan on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, in Saint John’s Abbey and University Church. Interment in Saint John’s Cemetery follows the service.

  • 31 Dec

    The Monk Who Saves Manuscripts From ISIS

    Rescuing the world’s most precious antiquities from destruction is a painstaking project—and a Benedictine monk may seem like an unlikely person to lead the charge. But Father Columba Stewart is determined. Soft-spoken, dressed in flowing black robes, this 59-year-old American has spent the past 13 years roaming from the Balkans to the Middle East in an effort to save Christian and Islamic manuscripts threatened by wars, theft, weather—and, lately, the Islamic State.

  • 31 Dec

    Benedictine Monk known for His Math Contributions Dies

    Benedictine monk known for his mathematics prowess and stunning polyhedron art died Friday at the retirement center at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville. The Rev. Magnus Wenninger, who was 97 when he died, was a mathematician well known for his work constructing models of polyhedrons — three-dimensional solids consisting of a collection of polygons joined at their edges — and for his books on their construction.