The building called Marmion House, in Flynntown, has served a variety of roles for the university. The family of Collegeville pioneers Joseph and Helena Roske constructed it. Later, Rodger Julkowski, alum and English professor of Saint John’s University, owned the house.
In 1968, Marmion housed the Community Education Project, an experimental community living situation for a group of students, both Johnnies (who lived in a mobile home outside the house) and Bennies (who lived in the house). It was referred to as “The Farm” and it existed in Marmion until May, 1969, when it was moved to a house in Avon for a year and then discontinued.
In the late 1990’s the Saint John’s bought the house outright. For a time, David and Roseann Keller lived there; David was the first director of the Episcopalian House of Prayer. It was also used by the fire chief until it acquired its current name in 2000 and became a space for sustainable living. Named after Blessed Columba Marmion, whose miracle of healing a St. Cloud cancer patient led to his beatification, students living in the house work to save energy, reduce waste, compost, care for the nearby greenhouse, recycle, and use a variety of other environmentally friendly living techniques. These student also host events to educate the larger community about the importance of protecting the environment.
The physical structure has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and can house up to six students.
- Crowley, Tricia and Michael Weaver. “New dorms and art facility highlight campus improvements,” The Record, September 5, 2000, p.1.
- Alkire, Jessie. “ SJU Eco-Houses run greenhouse,” The Record, November 14, 2014, p.6.
- Gillis, Danny. “Sustainable Community,” The Record, April 17, 2015, p.5.
- Oliver, Richard. “Blessed Columba Marmion,” Abbey Banner v.19 n.03, Winter 2019, p.26-27.
- Roske, Peggy. CEP: The Community Education Project, aka "The Farm": An Intentional Living Community for CSB/SJU Students, 1968-1970 [a 2019 “history lesson” PowerPoint]
- Roske, Peggy. Flynntown and Its Namesake, Coach Ed Flynn [a 2009 “history lesson” PowerPoint]
Special thanks to Maria Schrupp '20 for drafting this text.