Saturday, June 18, 2005

Trondheim Coverage

Adresseavisen (The Address)
Saturday, June 18, Trondheim

Made a fuss over Muus

250 Norwegian-Americans made a fuss over Muus during a ceremony at the Nidaros Cathedral yesterday.

By Rolf Rolfsen (translation by Karen Hansen)

The visitors are singers and musicians from St. Olaf College, which Bernt Julius Muus founded in 1974. When he died in 1900, he was buried in the cathedral garden, and students from the school lay a wreath yesterday at the gravestone on the south side of the church.

St. Olaf College in Minnesota is the best-known teaching institution established by Norwegian-Americans in the USA. The school has its own choir, band and orchestra that earlier have visited Trondheim six times. This week the singing and playing guests have been in Snåsa, where Muus was born in 1832, and Tuesday they will play in a Christmas concert in the Nidaros Cathedral for American television. It’s expected that over five million Americans will see this program from Trondheim.

The school’s president or rector, theologian Chris Thomforde characterizes the Nidaros Cathedral as the spiritual home for students and staff of St. Olaf College, because the Cathedral was built in memory of Saint Olav, the school’s patron saint.

“Here are found the roots of our identity,” he said.

Bernt Julius Muus was also a Norwegian-American theologian. He made an impression as a minister among Norwegian emigrants in Minnesota from 1859, and later became bishop for the Norwegian synod. He established an extensive following and became the first president of St. Olaf College.

Photo caption: Remembered Muus: 250 Norwegian-Americans lay a wreath yesterday at the gravestone of Bernt Julius Muus, the Snåsan who founded St. Olaf College in Minnesota. Front left rector Chris Thomforde, cathedral dean Knut Andresen and the students Philip Knutson, Carl Holmquist and Elizabeth Hellstedt.

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