20th Century, Catholic, Christian, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Science

Institute of Science and Letters

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Saint Paul Auditorium ca. 1907 Interior, Original Home of the Institute of Science and Letters. Photo by Scotty Moore

1907
The St. Paul Institute of Science and Letters is incorporated. The institute sponsors research, and a museum. After reinventing itself several times, it is now known as the Science Museum of Minnesota–home to dinosaur bones, computer and an IMAX theater.*

It is a blessing to learn that my city had a love of science fervent enough to create this institute! Furthermore, its benevolent nature was expressed in making scientific knowledge open to all! The Institute of Science and Letters was,“Originally a provider of public lectures, it was located in the St. Paul Auditorium”. http://www.smm.org/media/historicalfacts

As with any audience, surely in 1907 there were proponents, opponents, and those who remained open. Then, as in the present, most would not argue the data collected from experiments, but may differ drastically on its meaning to their life. Why is this?

One idea may be that we cannot extirpate the framing effects of our memory, our temperament, and our worldview. By “framing effect”, I mean the resistance we have to knowledge outside of our point of reference. A classic example is the story of the blind men describing an elephant.

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“A Jain version of the story says that six blind men were asked to determine what an elephant looked like by feeling different parts of the elephant’s body. The blind man who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillar; the one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope; the one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch; the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a hand fan; the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall; and the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a solid pipe.
A king explains to them:
All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently is because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all the features you mentioned.” “Elephant and the blind men”. Jain Stories. JainWorld.com. Retrieved 2006-08-29.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant

Lord, will You have mercy on our judgments made regarding science and its meaning to our lives? Will You forgive those in 1907 who used their new found scientific knowledge as a tool of separation from their predominantly Catholic neighbors? Will You forgive any counter judgments of scientists made in Your name or the name of the Roman Catholic church? Will You give us mercy on our neighbor whether they “know” through the channel of logic, association, observation, or relationship?

Your Word is not primarily a book of science, but where it does intersect with the sciences, it is accurate and eloquent in its claims. For example, You begin Your Word with the phrase, ”In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 CEV A scientist, upon first reading, may take it as religious and mythical poetry. However, would this same scientist observe that this simple phrase covered the building blocks of the universe: time, space, and matter?

Jesus, will You forgive the prejudices of the religious towards the secular-minded scientist in St. Paul: past, present, and future? Will You forgive the prejudices of the science community toward people of faith? We measure each other falsely at times Lord! We use the wrong measuring stick because we so often lack empathy much less love towards our sparring partners in debate. Will You heal the words we use to describe the intersection of faith and science? Have mercy on our small frames! Let us ‘see’ the whole elephant together, in Your revealing presence.

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

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James Frederick Ferrier photo International Association of Scottish Philosophy

**”Every question in philosophy is the mask of another question; and all these masking and masked questions require to be removed and laid aside, until the ultimate but truly first question has been reached. Then, but not till them, it is possible to decipher and resolve the outside mask, and all those below it, which come before us in the first instance.” James Frederick Ferrier
http://www.greatthoughtstreasury.com/author/james-ferrier-fully-james-frederick-ferrier

*** A brief summary of the Scottish philosopher’s life. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Frederick_Ferrier

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19th Century, Catholic, Health, History, Intercession, Jesus, Medicine, Minnesota, Natural Disaster

St. Mary’s Hospital Established

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Oct 1, 1889
In 1883 a tornado swept through Rochester, killing thirty-one. Mother Alfred Moes and the Sisters of St. Francis converted their school into an emergency hospital, with Dr. William Mayo supervising.*

Below, is an amplification of this history in terms of modern meteorology.

“During the late afternoon and evening of August 21, 1883, three significant tornadoes (two F3s and one F5) occurred in southeast Minnesota.  These tornadoes affected parts of Dodge, Olmsted, and Winona counties, and they accounted for 40 fatalities and over 200 injuries.
The first tornado touched down around 330 PM about 10 miles south of Rochester near Pleasant Grove (Olmsted County).  This tornado moved northeast for approximately 3 miles and it caused damage on four farms.  One of these farms was completely destroyed.  Other than this, few other details are known about this tornado.  It killed 2 people and injured another ten people.  This tornado was estimated by Thomas P. Grazulis to be a F3 tornado.  Damage was estimated to be $2,000 (in 2007 dollars this would be $42,000).
The second tornado touched down 4 miles northwest of Hayfield (Dodge County) around 6:30 PM.  At least 10 to 40 farms hit Dodge County were leveled.  The massive tornado then moved northeast through northern Rochester.  The enormous roar was said to have warned most Rochester residents.  Over 135 homes were destroyed and another 200 were damaged.  The tornado also derailed a train near Zumbrota Junction.  The mile wide tornado then began to move east again as it moved through rural eastern Olmsted County.  It leveled several farmsteads before dissipating 10 miles east of Rochester.  The tornado killed 37 people and injured 200 others.  Many of the injuries were very serious and other deaths probably occurred, but they are not listed in this total.  This tornado was on the ground for 25 miles and it was estimated by Thomas P. Grazulis to be a F5 tornado.  The total damage was estimated to be $700,000 (in 2007 dollars this would be $14.9 million)
The final tornado touched down around 8:30 PM two miles north of St. Charles (Winona County).  This tornado then moved east northeast for 12 miles before dissipating 4 miles north of Lewiston.  One man was killed in the destruction of a farm house 4 miles northeast of St. Charles.  In addition to this death, the tornado injured 19 others.  This tornado was estimated by Thomas P. Grazulis to be a F3 tornado.  It was estimated that this tornado produced $1,000 in damage (in 2007 dollars this would be $21,000).
Impact of this Event:
Prior to these tornadoes, there were only three hospitals in the state of Minnesota outside of the Twin Cities.  None of these hospitals were located near Rochester.  After the F5 tornado struck Rochester, a dance hall (Rommel Hall) was transformed into a temporary emergency room.  Doctors William Mayo and his two sons (William and Charles) took charge of caring for patients.  Mother May Alfred Moes of the Sisters of St. Francis helped care for patients as well.  After this disaster the Mayo family and the Sisters of St. Francis realized the need of a hospital in Rochester.  They banded together to form St. Mary’s Hospital, which ultimately led to the creation of the Mayo Clinic.”
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/arx/?n=aug211883

Lord, this is truly a beauty for ashes story in the history of Minnesota! This terrible tornado, which kills 31 and obliterates the land, is the impetus for the Mayo Clinic?! Will You forgive the sadness, anger, and distrust that may stem from this day of weather towards You? Will You forgive any verbal vows or commitments made towards You in the pain of this moment within the blast of an horrific storm? We are only people! We do not see as You see.
Conversely, will You bless Mother Alfred Moes, the Sisters of St. Francis, and Dr. William Mayo and their progeny? Will You bless us with vision beyond the present tense as a people? Will You cause us to remember that even tragedy can birth new life and healing?

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19th Century, Catholic, History, Intercession, Jesus, Medicine, Minnesota, Natural Disaster, Weather

Tornado Kills 31 in Rochester

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Aug 21, 1883
A tornado sweeps through Dodge County, killing five, and then lands in Rochester, killing thirty-one. Mother Alfred Moes and the Sisters of St. Francis convert their school into an emergency hospital, with Dr. William Mayo supervising.

Realizing the need for a permanent hospital in the city, Moes establishes St. Mary’s Hospital on October 1, 1889. This facility would evolve into the Mayo Clinic.*

This story is just like You Eternal Father! You turn a curse into a blessing, and usually use ordinary people in the process. Thank you forever for having a greater perspective on life than us! Thanks that You give insight.
I bless the benefits of the tragic tornado that struck Dodge county! Will you forgive any curses past or present on Dodge county? I ask for insight of the root sins of the county, and the future of Rochester and the Clinic. I bless the city of Rochester, the clinic, it’s employees, clients, in the authority of Jesus! I know that Your favor remembers both before our sense of time begins, and will continue after the end. May Your favor rest in perpetuity for the faithfulness of theses sisters’, Moes, and all who volunteered to work in the emergency hospital. Amen!

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

**The rest of the story?  http://history.mayoclinic.org

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19th Century, Catholic, Civics, education, Faith, History, Immigration, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Politics, Prayer

Catholic Colonization Bureau 1876

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Bishop John Ireland forms the Catholic Colonization Bureau to attract Catholics, particularly from Ireland, to Minnesota. A railroad provides land, and by 1885, 4,000 German, Irish, and Belgian Catholic families are living in southwestern and west-central Minnesota.

The towns of De Graff and Clontarf in Swift County; Adrian in Nobles County; Avoca, Iona, and Fulda in Murray County; Graceville in Big Stone County; and Minneota and Ghent in Lyon County become the business centers for the bishop’s colonies.*

Holy Spirit, thanks for Bishop John! Thanks for his help assisting so many to find a new way here in Minnesota! Thank You for friends like Bishop Ireland that keep offering us relief and making a way of exodus where it appears that there is no way. Will You again bless these counties: Swift, Nobles, Murray, Big Stone, Lyon, and Ramsey?

Lord, will You forgive us our bitter ways towards You and each other based on State and Federal law; legal and illegal immigration? Will You cause Your Church to bless Your image within each other in this effort; Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox? Our experience helps us see differing needs of those who migrate. Forgive us for favoritism, lawlessness, and placing unnecessary barriers in front of those who seek a safe haven and a bit of Your freedom here.

Will You give favor to these Catholic generations of Bishop Ireland, in their homes, the property You allow them to reside, and in the practice of their love for You? We need You! May we see You in all who emigrate their beloved homelands’ to immigrate to our Land of 10,000 Lakes in good faith! Come Lord Jesus and be our guest in the state of Minnesota!

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

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19th Century, Catholic, Faith, History, Immigration, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

John Ireland Arrives in Minnesota 1852

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Fourteen-year-old John Ireland comes to St. Paul. He later serves as bishop and archbishop of Minnesota for more than 40 years and promotes Catholic immigration to the state.*

Lord thanks for the blessings we inherit through John Ireland! It’s hard to sum up the impact this one man has made on the city of St. Paul. Bless him and his progeny for welcoming so many of our state! Thank you for his zealous example to Catholics, Protestants, and those searching for faith!

*Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm .

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18th Century, Catholic, Culture, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, law, Minnesota, Native Americans, Transference, war

Spanish Claims 1763  

Louis XV France

Louis XV France

Half of Minnesota passes to Spain when France gives up her trade west of the Mississippi. The exchange happens not because of activity in the Americas but as the result of a war in far away Europe.

No Spanish representatives are known to have visited the area after this trade and the Dakota and Ojibwe know nothing of it. Spain will return the land to France in 1800.*

Charles III of Spain

Charles III of Spain

Allow me to amplify this story? Louis XV had just lost the French and Indian War to Britain. This meant that Canada was claimed by England. Simultaneously, France was losing the Seven Years War on the Continent. He contacted his cousin, King Charles III of Spain, and secretly ceded his rights to all New France west of the Mississippi to Spain.

These facts are plain, Lord, but why would France yield such a massive stake in lucrative North America stretching from Louisiana through Minnesota? Was it pure politics and resentment of Britain? Was it born of familial ties between these men, or the bonds of the Catholic faith? It did bring an absence of war, but is absence of war the same as peace?

Lord, I don’t know how this transaction affected our state in this era. Help me see. It seems that Spain ruled with such a light touch that most Minnesotans were not aware of the change. Will You forgive any bondage or bitter roots created in this specific geographical territory because of the judgments held by Britain, France or Spain, Dakota or Ojibwe?

Whether these men were kind-hearted or connivers, that is Your judgment, but I acknowledge that we are no different today. We use or perhaps misuse whatever measure of authority or influence at our disposal when we feel our claims are threatened. We, like these two cousins, may secretively craft plans to block the advances of the opposing team to “keep it in the family.”

Will You teach us Your humility in our diplomacy? When we lose in life, may it not be doubled by the vow, “I will lose to anybody else, but not them.” Christ have mercy on us. May we become the generation that is content to be the humble, temporary tenants of Your land!

 

*Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm .  The current URL is www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/ and only works if typed, not pasted, in browser. It is worth the effort!

 

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18th Century, Catholic, Culture, Exploration, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, Transportation

La Vérendrye & Grand Portage Trail 1731

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Using a map made on birch bark by Assiniboin guide Ochagach, Pierre La Vérendrye follows the Grand Portage trail from Lake Superior to Lake of the Woods. It is not a way to the western sea, as he has hoped, but fur traders will follow this trail for the next 100 years.*

Sometimes the easy way is the hard way. A portage is an overland pathway that avoids dangerous rapids or falls for those traveling by river. Ochagach likely thought that the “western sea” that La Verendrye sought was Lake Winnipeg. Regardless of his disappointment, La Verendrye and the voyageurs respected and appreciated the wisdom in taking this 8.5mile trail past the dangers of the Pigeon River.

We often balk at the delays of modern life, even though we have such incredible technologies that serve our whims and convenience. Will You make us like Ochagach, so that we can see the dangers of convenience in our lives? Will You make us like La Verendrye, that we may heed the warnings of our friends to not try to foolishly “shoot the rapids?”

Father, thanks that You lead us on our way. Thanks that You delight in sharing your mysteries with us. Bless the Assiniboin people, Ochagach, and P. La Verendrye for the gift of this trail. Thank you that these two men showed trust to each other! Thanks for the lessons of the portage!

**Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm .  Currently the timeline seems to be unavailable.

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