Virtual lecture series explores Minnesota history and culture

“Exploring History and Culture in Central Minnesota – Hill Museum & Manuscript Library” is a free online lecture series that will share about cultures in the state in a unique way: through ancient manuscript traditions.

The lectures take place via Zoom from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays in February (Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26). While the event series is free, registration is required. To register for one or more of the programs, contact the Morrison County Historical Society at or call 320-632-4007.

The series features programming from HMML, a global organization whose mission is to preserve and share the world’s handwritten past to inspire a deeper understanding of our present and future. (To learn more about the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, visit

On Feb. 5 participants will hear about a unique religious order founded by a small gathering of laity and knights in the 12th century. Presented by Daniel K. Gullo, “The Order of Saint John of Jerusalem: Culture and Community” will look at the order’s organization, culture and religious life and how members continue to care for the poor and sick today.

“The Boy from Buckman Plants a Seed,” presented by Matthew Z. Heintzelman, will be Feb. 12. It will showcase the work of Benedictine Father Oliver Kapsner, whose leadership with the early work of the monks at St. John’s Abbey laid the foundation for HMML’s work today.

“The Manuscript Heritage of Muslim Communities in Minnesota and Beyond” is Feb. 19. The program, presented by Josh Mugler, will provide an introduction to an important and growing part of the Minnesota community using the visual and textual elements of Islamic manuscript traditions from around the world.

The final event in the series, “‘Ash pe pekran?’ An Encounter with Coptic Cultural Heritage,” presented by David Calabro, takes place Feb. 26. The program gives a brief introduction to the ancient Coptic Egyptian culture, which has a small but expanding community in Minnesota.

Made possible through a grant from the Central MN Arts Board, the series is a partnership project of the Benton, Sherburne, Stearns and Morrison County historical societies. In conjunction with the programs, two traveling exhibits featuring original manuscripts from the HMML collection will be at each of the four history museums on a revolving basis for two weeks during the month of February.

For more information about the events and the exhibits, contact the Morrison County Historical Society (320-632-4007), Sherburne History Center (763-261-4433), Stearns History Museum (320-253-8424) or Benton County Historical Society (320-253-9614).

Author: The Central Minnesota Catholic

The Central Minnesota Catholic is the magazine for the Diocese of St. Cloud.

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