Newspaper Archive of
The Billings County Pioneer
Beach, North Dakota
June 2, 1960     The Billings County Pioneer
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June 2, 1960

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BILLINGS COUNTY PIONEER Annunciation Priory 2,000 Visitors At Open t r More than 2,000 persons attended open house at Annunciation Priory, seven miles south of Bismarck on Apple Creek Road the weekend of May 14-15 according to Mother Edane, O. S. B Prioress. Tea was served in tl~e students[ cafeteria. Memebers of the Knights of Columbus handled traffic and parking. Officials assisting at the open house included include Sister Re- ginella O. S. B Sul~ Prioress. Sis- ter Joyce. O. S. B Treasurer. Sis- ter Andriette, Secretary, and Sister Moireen, O. S. B Procurator. This a rare treat for visit'ors for the buildmg is one of the most unusual and inspirmg constructions in this area. The Annunciation Priory has evol- ved from Architect Marcel Breu- Architectural Photos By Shin grade school was opened in Mott, and m 1950 another grade school was opened at Flasher. The community addition to St. Alexius Hospital which it had been operating, later acquired Memorial Hospital, Richardton in 1950: took on the operation of the Tri-state Hospital at Bowman for a time and the Garrison Memorial Hospital in 1952. The Sisters for a period also operated the Hillcrest Hospital at Beulah and the Government Hos- pital at Riverdale. These have since been closed. The community now numbers 191 Sisters and 11 candidates. In 1957 the community voted to change the convent building site from a location on the Green River near Dickinson to the one on Apple Creek south of Bismarck The nu- cleus of this site was a gift of 40 acres from Charles Swenson living nearby. March 30, 1958 Palm Sunday, marked the breaking of ground for the convent now known as Ann- unciation Priory. His Excellency, /will carry away with them of the beauty and serenity they find with- in the building will enrich their lives. To the writer, one of the most vivid descriptions is given by Shin Koyama, architectual photographer. His words: "To me seeing life at Annuncia- tion Priory is an invitation to know more about the depth of .beauty and richness we have inherited. Namely to discover self and something be- yond the reach of self. "The key to the Annunciation Priory is the contrast between light and shadows, historical and "con- temporary and worship and work. "In structural pattern I can find all these feelings expressed. Even the spiritual realm, such as simpli- city, purity, and obedience, are re- flected in the 'buildings as well as the furnishings. "But the great uniqueness of Ann- unciation Priory is the contrast be- tween natural and artificial which is .beautifully harmonized without losing the individuality of either. From sunrise to sunset the building continues to create these harmoniz- the Most Reverend Hilary B. Hack- ing contrasts. er officiated at this ceremony and "I do not believe that Annuncia- blessed the new site. On the fol- tion Priory is perfected in the sense er's philosophy of contemporary ar- lowing day Northern Improvement of art and religion because depths eh~tecture and from his study of the Marcel Breuer, worlfl famous at- Co, began levelling the building and value are not determined by spirit and history of the BenedictineI ehitect who designed Annunciation site. Bids for construction were age as we find in antiques, but Order from its beginning in the lPrl ry' believes that contemporary opened on April 23, 1958, and bids in continuous progress toward the sixth century to the present. I architecture should show organic were awarded to the following: future to fulfill what has been given growth and not be a replica of thet In waS through the assistance of[past, t General Contract is the Meisner and inherited. These inheritances the monks of St. John's Abbey, Col- ] Each buUdlng he designs i~ young -Anderson Co of Bismarck; Plumb- are renewed bright and young when legevli;e, Minn who had employed/ and li~lng, expressing contempor-' ing and Heating--Sornsin Company the sun begins to stroke the brush of Mandan; Electrical--L & H of from morning until night. Breuer to design their new wing]ary culture. Mandan. "One winter afternoon I sat alone of their monastery and church, that! in the waiting room. I began to the Sisters of Annunciation Priory were fortunate enough to have this world famous architect accept their request to desi~ their new Mother- house. Breuer was born in Pecs, Hun- gary in 1902. After studying a the Art Academy in Vienna, he was at- tracted by the new Bauhaus at Des- sau, German)-, where in 1925 he be- came a professor. At that time he invented the tubular steel chair in its original form. After several years of private practice in Berlin where he began studies of pre-fabricated housing, he left Nazi-ruled Germany and be- came a Harvard professor in archi- tecture in 1937. Later ne went into practice in New York City. Buildings he has designed include the UNESCO building in Paris. the American em- bassy at the Hague, and administra- tion and library building at Hunter College, New York. Presently he is in Switzerland and will later work in South America before returning to the United States. Establish Convene It was in 1944 that 140 Sisters 0f St Benedict, from the Convent of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, Minn volunteered, upon the invitation of Bishop Ryan, then Bishop of Bis- marck, to found an independent con-: vent in the Diocese of Bismarck. Three years later, official appro- bation was given this foundation and the new community was launch- ed under the title of the Bene- dictine Sisters of the Annunciation, Formal possession of the new building was marked by the offer- ing of the first Holy Mass in the Priory Chapel, by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Hilary B. Heck- er, Bishop of Bismarck and by the offering of Holy Mass on follow- B. M. V. This title was chosen be- ing day by the Right Reverend &b. cause the date of the announce-bot Cuthbert Goeb. O.S.B. ment was on the Feast of the Ann- The formal openmg of Priory high unciation. March 25, 1947. The first postulants to be admitt- ed to the new community in 1945 were Helen K, yllingstad and Madon- na Wagendorf, now respectively Sisters Helen and Madonna. Both Sisters are nurses and are station- ed at St. Alexius Hospital. In the course of years, the community has developed projects in different school was held on Sept. 8, 1959 with 35 freshmen and sophomore girls enrolled. Sister Elizabeth is the principal. Mother Edane is the Prioress of the community. On Sunday, May 8, 1960, the bles- sing and dedication of Annunciation Priory was given by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Hilary B. Hack- er, Bishop of Bismarck. places. The ceremony began with the In 1943, Bishop Ryan dedicated blessing outside the building. Then St. Anne's Home for the Aged at the procession moved through the notice the sun beginning to paint, little by little, Shadows on the drapes began to take shapes gradu- ally and so slowly. And then over- lap each other, fitting into the new pattern. Out of many shadows one outstretched to another, drawing a pattern of the cross. A week later I came back at the same time but I never saw this shadow again. I wondered. Am I only looking fix- edly into the sun and shadow? Or am I looking into art without find- ing the eternal? "From that time cn I felt that I was not a stranger at Annunciation Priory. I am catching--but I am caught." Dickinson with Sister Paul, now administrator of St. Alexius Hos- pital, as its first superior. In 1946, St. Benedict's Home, a second home for the aged also located at Dick- inson, was dedicated. Local Resl~nsiblliUes The community in the beginning was in charge of the Cathedral grade school and St. Mary's grade and high schools in Bismarck. St. Joseph's grade school in Mandan, St. Patrick's and St. Joseph's schools in )ickinson. In September of 1949 a CHEEPS AIUNO VL~llHUM~--Former President Harry S. Truman takes time out from a speaking engagement to visit Spanish- American War veteran Grant Slagle at the Syractme, N.Y.~ Veteran's Hospital. Slagle, a Missouri native, who relmrtedl~ has but a short time to live, sent a request foe a meeting with tim formex Chief Execut/ve. Harry is shown cheering him up. Mino! Man ' Cuthbert Goeb, O. S. B Al~bot, I1kT '11 preached the sermon. ~ameato Board This service was followed by a l--'~ house with the Bishop going ahead banquet served to the clergy, vis-I Ralph Christensen, 32, Minot bust- intoning the psalms selected for Ring Reverend Mothers and Sisters,I ness man, has been appointed to important areas, such as the sacristy, and Sisters of the Priory who came ] the state board of high education community room, dining room, kit- from all the missions to help cele-[by Gov. John E. Davis. chert, dormitory, furnace room, brate the event. More than 401 Christensen succeeds C. W. Baker laundry and lastly, the chapel, clergy attended, as well as members[of Minot, who resigned to become The crucifix to be hung in the of the lay advisory board. 'a candidate for state senator from students lounge was solemnly bless- ed and hung by His Excellency, the Bishop. The solemn blessing was follow- ed by a ,pontifical mass offered by His Excellency, The Right Reverend Shin Koymma, who ea~ne to the United States from Tokyo, Japan, in 1954 to study In our colleges, has been photogr~phh~ since he wasI seven years old. ] Through his interest in arcMtee-] tual photography he has ~ken more ] than 89 different views of Annuncla- I tlo~ l~lory. The impressions float the visitors the 29th District of Ward county. Baker was appointed in 1957 to fill out the unexpired term of Dr. A. D. McCannel who resigned for health reasons. Christensen will fill out the late Dr. McCannel's term which ends July I, 1982. Full aP- pointments are for six years. A 1949 graduate of NDAC, Chris- tensen had received considerable support for the appointment from Fargo and among NDAC alumni. There has not been an NDAC alum- nus on the board for some time. Nitrogen Firm r r0.s Plans Ruild ND Plant North Dakota industrial develop- ment suffered a setback this week with the death of plans to build a l~million-dollar agricultural fer- tilizer plant. The announcement came from George C. Van Nostrand, president of North Dakota Nitrogen Co Bis- marck. He said in a prepared statement the company "was deferring, for the present, its plans for construc- ting an agricultural chemical plant in North Dakota." The company's office will close at the end of the month, "pend- ing future developments," Van Nostrand said. A continually tightening money market during the past '18 months resulted in a lack of loan capital to finance the project, he said. North Dakota Nitrogen Co or- ganized in 1958, originally-planned to ,build near Riverdale, utilizing the lignite stockpile at Garrison dam to manufacture nitrogen fertil- izer. Last y~x', after a survey of 12 sites, the company decided to build its initial facilities at Wahpeton, closer to markets for the fertilizer.