• 31 Dec

    Piece By Piece, Monks Scramble To Preserve Iraq's Christian History

    In an unfinished building in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, displaced Christian children sing a little song about returning to their village. "We're going back," they sing, "to our houses, our land, our church." Right now, they're living in an open concrete structure. The self-styled Islamic State, or ISIS, took over their home village of Qaraqosh, and the Christians fled in fear, on foot.

  • 31 Dec

    WCCO Viewers’ Choice For Best Place To Snowshoe In Minn.

    What started thousands of years ago as a mode of transportation has evolved into something that lets us enjoy the outdoors, even in winter. Snowshoeing makes hiking through the snow simple. So we went looking for the best place to do it in Minnesota, and ended up in Collegeville for a visit at St. John’s Abbey Arboretum. The winter woods of St John’s Abbey Arboretum in Collegeville are peaceful and almost hauntingly quiet. “Part of the beauty [is] you have very few sounds, and that’s really one of the more nicer things,” Saint John’s University outdoor director Thomas Kroll said.

  • 31 Dec

    Victoria Young on the Modern Creation of Saint John's Abbey Church

    The 1950s was a time of great liturgical change in the Catholic Church. It was also a transformative era for architecture, with modern designs springing up in the post-war building boom. So when the monks of the Abbey of Saint John the Baptist set about building a new church on their campus in Collegeville, Minn., they decided to embrace the changing times. Working with an untested religious designer, Marcel Breuer, they created a modernist sacred space with attention to detail from floor to furniture, to altar, to ceiling.

  • 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.