On Thursday, April 27th, 2017, the Collegeville Institute celebrated its 50th Anniversary by hosting an evening with author Kathleen Norris. Norris, who spent two years as a Resident Scholar in the early 1990s, spoke warmly about her experience at the Collegeville Institute where she worked on several of her books including Dakota, The Cloister Walk, and Amazing Grace. Norris was also Writer-in-Residence at the Collegeville Institute in 2011.
Other speakers at the event included Abbot John Klassen, OSB and Patrick Henry, former Executive Director of the Collegeville Institute, who introduced Norris.
Former Resident Scholar Jeffery Rowthorn presented and performed an original hymn, “How Blest This Place Where God Is Praised,” which was written to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Collegeville Institute. Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB, Summer 2014 Writing Workshop Participant, provided accompaniment on the piano. The text of the hymn is as follows:
1. How blest this place where God is praised as all the seasons sing;
the wind and snow, the gentle breeze
in turn their tribute bring.
The loon’s return, the falling leaves
reveal God’s faithfulness,
so let us join with nature’s choir
and sing in thankfulness.
2. How blest this place where Christ is known as bread and wine are shared,
as old divisions, now outworn,
are lovingly repaired.
Here worship hallows each one’s work and faith is fed by prayer,
as day by day we celebrate
Christ’s love beyond compare.
3. How blest this place the Spirit fills
with questing minds and hearts.
Here time allows them to pursue
what scholarship imparts.
As insights, hopes and lives are shared
in close community,
the Spirit sows, for future growth,
the seeds of unity.
4. How blest this place where we are met
in God’s surprising ways:
a lakeside walk, a silent time,
a joyful hymn of praise.
As we discover whose we are,
God grant us to acquire
a heart and mind endowed with sparks
of pentecostal fire.