• 31 Dec

    Streetscapes: Architect Marcel Breuer had Bold Vision for a Sacred Space in Collegeville, Minn.

    St. John’s Abbey Church is a stunning achievement in contemporary architecture. A new book details how it came to be, 60 years ago. Rising from a flat wooded plain in central Minnesota, the sharply angled St. John’s Abbey bell banner commands awe. A towering portal from the outside world to the sacred interior of the abbey church, the imposing 112-foot-high poured-concrete slab beckons visitors to come in and behold the further wonders of contemporary design envisioned by Hungarian-born architect Marcel Breuer in the 1950s.

  • 31 Dec

    Nickolas Kleespie: Fireman, Beekeeper, Athlete … and Monk

    Benedictine Brother Nickolas Kleespie, a monk of St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, wears many hats — literally and figuratively. Sometimes he dons a fireman’s hat, other times a beekeeping jacket and veil, and even wields a conductor’s baton or laces up a pair of running shoes. Brother Nick, an active monk and scholar, also is preparing for his ordination as a transitional deacon at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 6 at St. John’s Abbey Church.

  • 31 Dec

    Expanded Solar Farm at Saint John's offers Science Lesson

    It doesn't look much like a scientific laboratory. But the new rows of solar panels workers are installing in a snowy field overlooking St. John's University will yield valuable research data. The St. John's solar farm already generates about 5 percent of the electricity used by the campus. Once the expansion is complete, on a sunny day, it could produce 30 percent of St. John's energy needs. It also will create an opportunity for experts and students to study and compare two types of solar panels to see which is the most cost effective.

  • 31 Dec

    Saint John's Football is Like Heaven to Father Wilfred

    The monks stood in a long, ominous-looking row along the railing behind the south end zone, all dressed in black and gazing intently on the proceedings at the Natural Bowl. It was the 1950s. It was tradition. It was what monks did on football Saturdays at St. John's University. "In the old days, we used to line up along that pipe, in our black habits," said the Rev. Wilfred Theisen. "Sixty, I suppose, one after the other. "We always stood up there. Even the great scholars of the community would be down there for the games."