The Gregorian Institute Shield, composed of the crossed gold and silver keys of the Papal Insignia, an open book with the words 'Via Veritas Vita' ('The Way, the Truth, and the Life') written on its pages, three golden six-sided stars on a red banner, and a Germanic cross.

at BENEDICTINE COLLEGE

Video Spotlights College President’s Marian Faith


The newest Christmas video released by Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, humorously points to one of the college’s strengths: The Marian faith of its president.

The video, “Twas the Night Before Finals” features a verse voiceover based on a poem by Dr. Edward Mulholland. It tells the story of Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis visiting a student, played by Benedictine sophomore Alex Gorman, who is studying late at night.

The video was made by Nathan Pickman, the college’s Digital Media Manager, and Christian McKeown, and narrated by Philosophy professor Dr. Edward Macierowski (a Gregorian writer).

In the poem, President Minnis speaks to the student, saying, “‘How are your parents and how are your classes?’ / And how awesome it is to have three daily school Masses.”

His advice to the student, who is worried about finals, is typically Minnis: “Just ask intercession from dear Mother Mary,” he says, giving the student a Rosary.

President Minnis, who leads a well attended weekly Wednesday Morning Rosary on campus is a big proponent of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who he points out “always brings you closer to her son, Jesus.” Some examples:

  • Abbot James Albers of St. Benedict’s Abbey consecrated Benedictine College to the Blessed Virgin Mary in 2013, and President Minnis had a larger replica of the campus’s historic Our Lady of Grace fountain rebuilt in the center of the college’s Academic Quad for the event.
  • Mary’s Grotto in the heart of campus is a signature accomplishment of President Minnis. The Our Lady of Lourdes shrine used Lourdes water in the fountain and includes two stones from Lourdes in its stone structure.
  • Each year the college goes big to celebrate Mary’s Sept. 8 birthday. Last year, 1,000 participants surrounded campus to pray the Rosary for the college and embed thousands of Miraculous Medals into the sidewalk in a giant walking Rosary.
  • President Minnis encourages consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and a large group each year goes through the 33 Days to Morning Glory by Father Michael Gaitley, a friend of the college.
  • Minnis even sees Mary’s hand in the college football team’s success.

The college has experienced enormous success in the 15 years President Minnis has been president, adding 10 new residence halls, three new chapels, seven new academic buildings, and becoming a top 10 ranked U.S. News & World Report school in its category.

“The answer to the question of why we have seen this success is the same answer that will sustain us into the future,” President Minnis said. “First, we embraced Our Lady and, secondly, we embraced our mission. From the moment Father Henry Lemke’s life was spared because of the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the present, we have been a chosen place. Embracing her and asking for her help is one of the key factors in our success.” To see the story of Father Lemke’s rescue by the Blessed Mother, click here.

To watch the 2019 Benedictine College Christmas Video, click here.


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Benedictine College

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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 as well as 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.