Twin Cities Providence Academy receives high praise

Richard John Neuhaus writes:

Friday and Saturday in the Twin Cities left some distinct and positive impressions. There was the Paul Holmer Lecture under the auspices of the MacLaurin Institute, with an overflow crowd at the Hubert Humphrey Center. It amazed me that people drove seven hours from the Dakotas to be there, but then I was told that, in that part of the country, a seven-hour trip is not unusual for an evening out. The MacLaurin Institute is a mainly evangelical program aimed at encouraging Christian scholarship at the University of Minnesota. Speaking of creative academic programs, at least a dozen people wanted to tell me about the Catholic studies project at the University of St. Thomas, and were pleased to know that I was very much aware of it. In fact, that project has gained national attention and is seen as a model to be emulated at other universities. Then there was a talk at the sparkling new Law School of St. Thomas University in downtown Minneapolis. As in a few other places–Notre Dame and Villanova come to mind–the law school is playing a leading role in strengthening the university’s Catholic substance and witness.

Saturday morning was a talk at the remarkable Providence Academy in nearby Plymouth, Minnesota. Started only a few years ago and offering a solid Catholic education in grades one through twelve, Providence has over 600 students, with more than a third being evangelical Protestants. It is the brainchild of Bob Cummins, a high-tech entrepreneur, and Todd Flanders who is the headmaster. Todd is a 1994 alumnus of our Tertio Millennio Seminar in Krakow, Poland, and has obviously found his vocation in implementing in education the vision of John Paul the Great.

Impressive also is the promising turn in priestly vocations and seminary training in the Twin Cities. Those in charge give every indication of having internalized the lessons of what went wrong in recent decades and are determined to set it right. I am told the archdiocese this year ordained more priests than in any year since the 1960s, and that in the formation program there are large numbers of manly young men, intellectually and spiritually prepared to shepherd the Church in the years ahead.

Yes, I know, I was there for only a couple of days, and you might think I let myself be too impressed by people eager to sell a visitor on the good things happening in the Twin Cities. I don’t think so. For starters, in a lot of places I visit people don’t even try to put a good face on things. The comments of clergy and lay people reflect discouragement, ranging from malaise to disaster. In the Twin Cities, among both evangelicals and Catholics, there was a contagious sense of excitement about Christian renewal and mission


About waynem

As a Minnesota based photographer and artist I have been greatly influenced by the Upper Midwest. I focus my skills and energies on portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, architectural and fine art work. My best work comes from images first painted in my mind. I mull over a prospective image for weeks or months, seeing it from different angles and perspectives, then finally deciding what to capture. The result is images that deeply touch people's emotions and powerfully evoke memories and dreams. My images are used commercially by companies and organizations ranging from Financial Services firms, mom and pop Ice Cream shops and The Basilica of St Mary to communicate their shared vision and values. Book and magazine publishers have featured my images on their covers. My photographs also grace and enhance the decor of many fine homes.
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