A dictionary defines “pavilion” as “a part of a building projecting from the rest.” Those few words hardly do justice to the newly completed structure that does indeed project from the Abbey Church. The question remains, “What’s it for?”
The Petters Pavilion, made possible by the generous support of Thomas Petters in honor of his parents, Fred and Rosemary, includes:
• the expansion and acoustical improvement of the abbey’s Chapter Room for meetings;
• a bride’s room and a groom’s room for wedding preparations;
• men’s and women’s rest rooms;
• an elevator for access to the lower and upper levels of the church;
• a new entrance to the east side of the church.
Several hundred guests joined the monastic community for the blessing of the pavilion on May 6, 2007. After brief remarks by Abbot John Klassen, OSB,Thomas Petters and architect Vincent James, Rosemary
Petters read from the prophet Ezekiel who describes the new temple built to replace Solomon’s temple destroyed by the Babylonians.
A blessing prayer, the sprinkling of spaces with holy water and a special blessing for the large medallion of Saint Benedict that is the centerpiece of the Chapter Room completed the ceremony. Monks and guests processed into the Abbey Church for the singing of Evening Prayer, followed by dinner in the Great Hall.
Excerpt from The Abbey Banner