Saint Meinrad announces $10 million campaign

Monday, August 23, 2021

Saint Meinrad Archabbey has announced a $10 million campaign to renovate two buildings and establish two new programs.

The “Forward Together: For the Life of the Church” campaign was publicly announced at a special event on August 22 at Saint Meinrad.

Fr. Denis Robinson, OSB, president-rector of the Seminary and School of Theology, reported that the campaign had already received gifts and pledges totaling just over $9 million. He praised the Campaign Cabinet and its leadership for their work in launching the quiet phase of the campaign just before the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic made in-person meetings and visits impossible, just as the campaign got underway.

The campaign co-chairs are Mike and Pam Schwenk of Jasper, IN, and Tom and Linda Weintraut of Zionsville, IN. Honorary co-chairs are Carl and Mary Kay Wolford of New Albany, IN, and Beeb and Bonnie Graham of Washington, IN.

New Programs

The campaign will help fund renovations to the Archabbey Library and St. Anselm Hall, as well as two new initiatives. The first is the Center for Youth and Young Adult Evangelization. The Center’s mission will be to engage young men and women of the Catholic Church in opportunities to grow in discipleship at every level.

Secondly, relying on its tradition of excellence in chant and other sacred music, Saint Meinrad will expand its current offerings to establish an Institute for Sacred Music.

Center for Youth and Young Adult Evangelization

The Center for Youth and Young Adult Evangelization will focus on excellence in youth and young adult formation.

Throughout its history, Saint Meinrad has centered much of its work on building up the Church, first through its foundational priesthood formation and later through the development of programs for lay ministers and permanent deacons.

Since the early 1990s, Saint Meinrad also has focused on high school youth through its “One Bread, One Cup” program for liturgical leadership. During the past 25 years, more than 7,000 high school youth and their adult leaders have benefited from the program.

Then in 2017, Saint Meinrad implemented its Young Adult Initiative, funded by The Lilly Endowment, that works directly with parishes and researches the needs of young adults in the Catholic Church.

The Center’s new plans include:

  • A youth ministry degree program with a residential component, as well as online classes.

  • A program called At the Table that will bring young people (ages 21-40) from parishes across the United States to Saint Meinrad to dialogue with bishops and priests about issues young adults face in today’s Church.

  • A certificate program of ongoing formation through the Saint Meinrad Parish Internship Program for those in youth and young adult ministries. The program also will assist dioceses in supporting and helping to maintain youth and young adult ministers.

  • The Domestic Church Center, which will provide resources to parishes and dioceses to strengthen the religious and spiritual practices of families within the home, particularly among young people.

  • The Saint Meinrad Hispanic Youth Program, which will offer opportunities for Spanish-speaking youth and youth ministers to develop resources for continuing faith development.

The Center for Youth and Young Adult Evangelization will be housed in St. Anselm Hall.

Institute for Sacred Music

The Institute for Sacred Music will encompass many aspects of sacred music – research, theory, performance and composition. Building on the reputation of Fr. Columba Kelly, OSB, and his expertise and prolific compositions in English chant, as well as the workshops currently offered in this area, the Institute’s programs will appeal to a range of audiences.

Plans for the Institute include:

  • Offering courses and workshops on the history, theory and theology of sacred music.

  • Facilitating research among scholars of chant.

  • Expanding the accessibility of chant by publishing a newsletter or blog, disseminating work through social and other media, and creating an open-access platform.

  • Developing relationships with area youth choir directors, parishes, and youth and young adult groups to promote appreciation of liturgical music among younger audiences.

  • Offering opportunities for study tours of sacred music in the United States and abroad.

  • Developing resources for use by campus ministries and other groups to gather in parishes and homes for Vespers and Compline prayer services.

  • Promoting chant and other sacred music through live performances and recordings to improve access to these experiences.

The Institute for Sacred Music will be located in the Archabbey Library.

Building Renovations

The renovations are expected to begin next May. For the Archabbey Library, the work will include expanding the space for the archives and the Rare Book Room. The work also includes updating electrical systems and elevator controls. In addition, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will be upgraded, and energy-efficient lighting will be installed. Work will be done to the roof to address leaks, and the exterior will be repainted.

The campaign will fund these improvements to St. Anselm Hall: a new water main, upgraded HVAC system, new electrical panels, energy-efficient lighting, upgraded elevator controls and an improved fire suppression system.

To learn more about the campaign and to make a gift, visit