‘BECOMING A BENEDICT’S MAN’ – THE EXHIBIT AT THE NEWARK PUBLIC LIBRARY
The celebration of St. Benedict’s Sesquicentennial continued on June 21st with a reception at the Newark Public Library for our exhibit entitled, "Becoming a Benedict's Man."
The exhibit, curated by Fr. Augustine O.S.B. ’74 and Matt Dellaguzzo, is on display for an extended run during the summer. Fr. Augustine led a brief talk on our history during the reception at the library.
"Becoming a Benedict’s Man" tells the story of St. Benedict’s Preparatory School and how the school has served the needs of Newark’s immigrant and African American communities.
St. Benedict’s College was established by Benedictine monks in 1868 to provide a Catholic education for the sons of working-class Irish and German families who had fled religious and political persecution. Over the years, St. Benedict’s has mirrored the ethnic composition of Newark, and has welcomed successive immigrants, including Italians, Eastern Europeans, Spaniards, Portuguese, Latin Americans, and Islanders from the Caribbean.
As African American families moved from the rural American South to Newark and the industrial North in the Great Migration in the 1920s and 30s, few enrolled their sons in St. Benedict’s. The exhibit tells the story of how the monks of the Newark Abbey saw the changes in Newark in the years following World War II, and how they interpreted their vow of stability by making a conscious choice to remain in Newark. By the late 1960s the monks and their African American neighbors created an intentional dialogue, which helped shape the school’s commitment to the community, and where today young men of all backgrounds and races graduate as St. Benedict’s men.
The exhibit was originally scheduled to run until June 30, but has been extended for a limited time. Please contact the Newark Public Library, 5 Washington St., at 973-733-7784 for more information.