Thursday, June 11, 2015

Kansas: Atchison

Our cross-country trip has almost reached the middle of this large country.  After staying the night in Wilson, Kansas, on we went to Missouri.  Before entering Missouri, we had a short stop at Benedictine College in Atchison.  It was probably not a good idea to look at a college on Memorial Day: There was basically nobody there!  But we did get to see the old church started in 1866 and also the new church.  While there was (almost) nobody to greet us, we walked around campus up to the abbey and a beautiful lookout over the Missouri River.  There was no doubt that we had reached the Midwest: It was muggy and humid.  

Unsere Reise quer durch dieses große Land hat fast die Mitte erreicht.  Nach unserer Nacht in Wilson in Kansas ging es weiter nach Missouri.  Auf dem Weg haben wir uns aber noch ein weiteres College angeschaut: Benedictine College in Atchison.  Leider war dieser Montag ein großer amerikanischer Feiertag und so war (fast) niemand bei dem College, aber wir haben uns die alte Backsteinkirche und auch das Collegegelände gut anschauen können.  Wir sind auch zum alten Kloster und zum Aussichtspunkt über den Missouri gegangen.  Man konnte gut merken, daß man wieder im Mittleren Westen war, weil es sehr schwül und warm war.  

 Enjoying the Green!
So viel schönes Grün!

 St. Benedict Church
St. Benedikt Kirche

 Missouri River
Missouri Fluß

The Abbey
Das Kloster

 The modern abbey church
Die moderne Klosterkirche

Before going on to Missouri, we stayed for vespers with the monks.  That was a wonderful experience.  They were all so helpful in showing us in their books what they were singing and praying so that we could follow along.  Afterwards the abbot introduced himself and told us a bit about the college and the abbey.  If you are interested in the German history of this abbey, watch this video.    

Bevor wir weiter nach Missouri gefahren sind, sind wir noch für die Vesper mit den Mönchen geblieben.  Alle Mönche waren sehr zuvorkommend und haben uns immer wieder gezeigt, welches Lied wir gerade singen mußten oder welchen Text wir mitsprechen sollten.  Der Abt hat sich anschließend vorgestellt und uns ein wenig über das Kloster und das College erzählt.  Ein junger Mönch aus der Schweiz hat dieses Kloster auch besucht und hier seine Eindrücke dargestellt.     

Entering Missouri
Grenze nach Missouri


  1. What a lovely church and abbey! I enjoyed the tour :)

    Is there a difference between a monastery and an abbey?

    1. It was very pretty and we learned that St. Vincent College, Belmont Abbey College, and St. Anselm College were also built by Benedictines and do look very similar.

      Quite often an abbey is bigger than a monastery and always has an abbot or an abbess. The term monastery is used by many religions, but abbeys are normally Catholic (or used to be Catholic). I don't know if there are any other differences, but an abbey is always more visible to the people due to its many outreach programs, for example in education. I think that contemplative orders would not live in an abbey.

    2. Thank you for that explanation! I'll have to pass it along to Chanda; we were both wondering.

  2. America is so flat!!! I have to laugh at all your ending photos of the empty, flat open road!!

    All that open space is so beautiful.

    1. Actually, when entering Kansas we thought that the trip was not so exciting anymore. It is very flat and boring. In addition, we already knew the Midwestern states and had seen them. But there is much open space and you think you are driving into nothingness. I don't recall where it was, but one stretch definitely reminded me of Northern Germany and I was thinking that the North Sea should come soon.

    2. I remember how flat northern Germany was and thinking how similar it was to Long Island!

    3. Are there any hills on Long Island?


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