So long, Albertus Magnus

If you ever visit the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, make sure you get a glimpse of the campus’ loveliest bit of architecture, the iconic St. Thomas arches. Built in 1947, these arches stand proudly astride the administrative building and the liberal arts center, displaying a statue of the university’s patron.

At one time, the buildings were known as Aquinas Hall and Albertus Magnus Hall. It was a beautiful pairing, which left the university’s signature landmark gracefully bridging the gap between the Angelic Doctor and his inspired teacher. In 1999, however, the university renovated Albertus Magnus Hall, at which time it was renamed “the John Roach Center.”

John Roach was the archbishop in the Twin Cities from 1975 to 1995. I never knew him, so be assured that there is no personal animus behind this one little thought: I do not think he contributed as much to the Church as Albert the Great. And it saddens me to realize that, with the loss of his building, a majority of UST students will surely graduate without so much as hearing the name of St. Thomas’ great mentor.

Imagine a world in which Catholic universities named their landmarks with an eye to the students’ good, and not to university politics…

Read more

Editor’s note: Archbishop Roach reputedly had little regard for either of the above saints, but he was a great friend and close associate of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.  See the linked article – starting about 3/4 of the way down the page.

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4 Comments

  1. “…the John Roach Center.” (emphasis mine)

    May it become irredeemably infested!

  2. Very questionable association!

  3. But Aquinas and Albert the great are ooooold!

    • So am Iiiiiii.


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