In the spirit of St. Benedict, small Kansas college opens doors to displaced Katrina students

.- The ancient Rule of St. Benedict stresses the idea of hospitality and charges its communities with the task of welcoming guests "as Christ Himself." In this spirit, Kansas's Benedictine College has announced that it will waive tuition costs and begin welcoming students from private institutions displaced by last week's Hurricane Katrina.

“We want to open our doors to these students and allow them the opportunity to continue their education during this time of crisis,” said Benedictine's president, Stephen D. Minnis. “Waiving tuition is the least we can do."

Father Brendan Rolling, OSB, Director of Mission for the small college is hopeful that many students will respond to the invitation.

“We want to open our home to our brothers and sisters in Christ in their time of need," he said. "‘Hope does not disappoint,’ is from Romans 5:5 and is the theme of our college this year. So, our hopes and prayers are with those who have experienced such great loss in this tragedy.”

Maria Miller, a senior at Benedictine is proud of what her college is doing. “This is who Benedictine is, we are hospitality,” she said. “What better way for us to show that than by welcoming those students to our campus. You make college your home, whether you are from the area or not, and they lost everything. I hope we are able to give them some amount of comfort.”

Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged the U.S. Gulf Coast, displaced hundreds of thousands of residents particularly from the New Orleans area, which is expected to be paralyzed for months to come. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) announced that many Catholic schools across the country--from elementary to high school--are also waiving tuition and welcoming students who are far from their homes, and working on plans to provide everything from lunch plans to backpacks and school supplies.

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