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Mount St. Scholastica Monastery, located at 801 S. 8th St. in Atchison, Kansas, is celebrating the 160th anniversary of the arrival of the first Benedictine Sisters on the frontier. Seven Benedictine sisters arrived in Atchison in November of 1863 to start a school for the townspeople. St. Scholastica’s Academy for young women opened on December 1, 1863, with forty-four students. In 1877, the sisters purchased Price Villa, now called St. Cecilia’s, and moved from their location near St. Benedict’s Church to the present site of the Mount St. Scholastica Monastery.
The Mount will have two events leading up to the anniversary date of Nov. 11. The Benedictine College Chamber Singers, under the direction of Dr. Timothy Tharaldson, will give a concert on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 7:00 p.m. in St. Scholastica Chapel on the grounds of Mount St. Scholastica Monastery. The concert, “The Miracle of St. Scholastica,” is open to the public. Free will offerings accepted. The Mount asks that guests please enter via the doors at St. Cecelia’s
Then on Friday, Nov. 10, the public is invited to participate in a lantern procession beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Haverty Center on the Benedictine College campus and moving across town to the Benedictine Sisters’ monastery. On Nov. 11, 1863, two men carried lanterns to protect the arriving Sisters from anti-Catholic threats. The procession will not only honor the Sisters on the 160th anniversary of their arrival, but will call on the people of Atchison to continue to shine their light against the prejudices and violence of our world today. At the end of the walk to St. Scholastica Chapel, the participants will pray with the sisters and have refreshments. Participants are invited to bring a lantern if they have one, preferably using a battery-operated candle.