Construction on a $6.8 million guesthouse at St. John's Abbey isn't finished, but already the reservation list extends well into 2008. "There have been times already we have turned away guests," said Brother Roger Kasprick, abbey guestmaster.
More than 200 donors and local residents attended the dedication and blessing ceremony and took tours of the three-story building Sunday.
Rev. Geoffrey Fecht, who chaired the planning commission, said it was a needed investment.
"Hospitality is a prime value for Benedictines," he said, adding that the abbey only had six rooms to offer to guests in the past. "After 150 years, it was time for us to do this." The planning started in August 1998, and ground was broken in May 2005. Building is six weeks behind schedule, Fecht said.
The guesthouse is made mostly from concrete and wood. The rooms are furnished with red and white oak wood from the St. John's forests and made into doors, furniture and ceilings by the St. John's Woodworking Shop. St Paul Pioneer Press