This is Frank Trotta with a Carolina Catholic News update…

There is a lot happening at Belmont Abbey College.

On the heels of announcing a free “Jump Start Summer Class” for incoming first-year students to give them a head-start in their college studies, Belmont Abbey College, announced they are joining forces with  Gaston College to help local students achieve their goal of a bachelor’s degree.  Gaston College is a community college granting associate degrees to its graduates.

The Catholic News Herald reports that the presidents of the two colleges executed a memorandum of understanding stating that any student who earns an Associate’s Degree at Gaston College can have direct-entry admission to Belmont Abbey College to pursue their bachelor’s degree.  The program is called “Belmont Abbey College Connect,”

In addition to the “Belmont Abbey College Connect” and the free “Jump Start Summer Class” Belmont Abbey College president Bill Thierfelder gave an hour long talk to the parishioners of St. Michael parish and students of St. Michael School on the history of the Catholic Church in Gaston County.

The fascinating lecture, complete with archival photos told how in the 1800s the monks of Belmont Abbey were responsible for the entire Catholic Church in North Carolina, how the monk built the college by hand including making the bricks themselves from local clay, and how in the early 1900s the New York Yankees would stop at the college on the way to spring training and play a game against the Belmont Abbey College students. When showing the photo of Babe Ruth with one of the Abbey’s monk, Dr. Thierfelder noted the irony as his father was an executive with the Yankees in the 1960s.

Here is the video of Dr. Thierfelder’s History of the Catholic Church in Gaston County.


For Carolina Catholic News… I’m Frank Trotta.