Benedictine’s Theme Highlights Catholic Identity

The Student Union banner greets students with the year's theme. The Student Union banner greets students with the year’s theme.

Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis’ remarks at the academic convocation for the 2012-2013 school year.

“Stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong.”

This year’s theme, taken from 1Corinthians, is especially significant this year.

When thinking of the history of Benedictine College from its humble beginnings in 1858, the monks and sisters who came to this part of the world where Lewis and Clark landed only 50 years before, it is clear that they were faithful, courageous and strong.

The Monks opened a college in 1858, only two years before the Civil War on the Kansas and Missouri border. The Benedictine sisters came in 1863 to start a school for girls.

The schools survived drought, pestilence, depression, wars and other financial crises.

And through it all, the monks, sisters, and dedicated lay persons stood firm in their faith, were courageous, were strong.

Now it is our time.

To the faculty, staff, students and the entire community I ask you to stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.

This college has never been stronger because we have embraced our mission as a Catholic-Benedictine-Liberal Arts-Residential College educating our students within a Community of Faith and Scholarship.

And it will be our faithfulness, our courage, our strength that will carry us into the future.

“Stand firm in your faith” — Love Jesus and pray. Pray for Benedictine College — especially, pray the Rosary. Join myself and the dean every Wednesday morning at 7:30 a.m. in St. Joseph Chapel in the basement of the Abbey. Remember that Benedictine College is a chosen place with a special mission, thanks to prayers.

“Be courageous”— Fearlessly pursue the truth in all things. Remember that the Catholic Church teaches that all truth comes from God, so it is impossible for faith and reason to be in conflict. So, don’t be afraid to stand up for your beliefs and don’t be afraid to seek wisdom and understanding.

“Be strong” — Never give up; be true to who you are. Commit to doing what it takes to get the most out of your college experience. Don’t look for the easy way out. In the classroom, in the gym, in the chapel, in study hall, perseverance and commitment make it possible to achieve your potential. Have the strength to do what is right.

It is a great time to be a Raven.

If we live this year’s theme, then nothing can stop us from our vision of building one of the great Catholic colleges in America.

So let’s all stand firm in the faith, be courageous and be strong.


Benedictine College

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 honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and 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. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.