A personal view of life in a small town. I discuss what it is like to live in a small town in central Minnesota. You'll learn why this family likes living in small town America.
You'll find a few facts about Sauk Centre, Minnesota, and perhaps learn a little about a real small town.
Signs of a Catholic presence in this area go beyond churches. Take a walk on the Catholic side, and see some of the ways people's faith expresses itself.
Pages worth writing, but which didn't fit into existing areas of Brendan's Island.
Just when you thought it was safe to go online: A collection of amateur photos, mostly of Sauk Centre.
Mercifully, this place is split up into many pages, to keep download time (fairly) short.
As told by the son of an Irishman. St. Brendan, you see, is chiefly famous for a wonderful voyage he is said to have made. Now, it is entirely possible that certain details of that voyage may have gotten exaggerated in the telling and retelling of the tale, but I declare that the account has merit both historical and as a story.
Visitor Information Center
That's this page: Your guide to Brendan's Island.
Comments left by visitors, and a form so that you can share your own thoughts about this site.
Spotlighting changes (big and small) on Brendan's Island.
Sauk Centre This Season: Sauk Centre Journal
Devotion to The Divine Mercy in Sauk Centre, Minnesota
St. Faustina Adoration Chapel in Sauk Centre, Minnesota
Catholic Events in Sauk Centre, Minnesota
Visitor Information Center
It's a sort of metaphor, an allusion to North America, the "promised land" which St. Brendan quite likely reached some ten centuries before Columbus arrived.
As for exactly how I came to call this website, I don't know for sure. It's as if I had approached a dock, and saw a sign reading, "Brendan's Island."
That's been the name of this virtual place almost from the beginning: almost, but not quite.
The first records I kept, back in June of 1997, called this site "Brendan's Web." The folder which the site filled was called "brendan:" as close as I could come to the longer name.
I spent much more time working on the site than thinking about the name from June 4, 1997, when "I Love It Here!" appeared, to July 12, 2001, when www.brendans-island.com rose from the digital waters. Early in that period, I see now, my name for the site became "Brendan's Island."
This leads right back to the question: why "Brendan's Island?"
I think my chain of association went this way: The land that St. Brendan visited (assuming that the tale isn't a fabrication) was probably on the east coast of North America. I'm living about a thousand miles west, much closer to the center of that same continent. The old cartographers had it wrong! Brendan's Island wasn't a smallish piece of land somewhere in the Atlantic: It's a much larger landmass: the one I'm living on, that we now call North America. North America is Brendan's Island!
I know. That's not very "scientific."
"Brendan's Island" seemed a fine name for a Web site intended to show what is good and pleasant here. I am under no illusion that the place where I live is a fabled land of the saints, awash with exotic perfumes and graced with beaches of precious stones. However, I find this part of "Brendan's Island" to be quite pleasant: and on the beaches in lake country, just north of here, you will indeed find agates, at least, on the rockier shores.
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Brian H. Gill, webmaster
This page last updated: January 27, 2011