• 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."

  • 31 Dec

    Amid Insurgency, Iraqi Priest is Guardian Angel of Ancient Manuscripts

    Early Aug. 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration, the residents of Qaraqosh woke up to the news that the Kurdish regional forces, known as peshmerga and who had been repelling militant incursions, had packed up and left the city in the dead of night. "The people woke up and realized they had no protection" and they started scrambling to evacuate the city, said Benedictine Fr. Columba Stewart, director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at St. John's Benedictine Abbey in Collegeville, Minn., who has been helping Michaeel with his preservation work since 2009.

  • 31 Dec

    Cold Spring Priest Shares Faith with Sick, Poor, Dying

    COLD SPRING – The Rev. Julius Beckermann speaks slowly, carefully, thoughtfully. But colleagues at Assumption Home and Community in Cold Spring say he brings a warmth and humor to the place. He makes a point of learning all the residents' names. "He's always got a joke to tell," receptionist Alice Jungels said. "And the residents and tenants just love him." "Father Julius has a unique way of being compassionate but also working in humor, brightening anyone's day in the process," said Lindsey Sand, director of community services. "He always has a smile on his face, a story to tell."

  • 31 Dec

    New Tricks from an 'Old Viking': The Art of Nancy Randall at Saint John's Abbey

    Twin Cities artist Nancy Randall takes on life, death and her Norse ancestry in an installation and show at St. John’s Abbey. In a millennium or two, someone may stumble across a Viking helmet half buried in decaying oak leaves on the grounds of St. John’s Abbey at Collegeville, Minn. Then perhaps they will spy another helmet marked with a Celtic knot, a Roman nose plate or a dragon tail. And they may wonder how such warriors arrived at so remote a place. Why did they come? How did they live and die?