Builder: Lively-Fulcher Organ Co (2001)

Manuals: 3

Ranks: 10

Action: Electronic

--Information from church

Last Update: 2009

St Olaf Catholic Church, Sanctuary

215 South Eighth Street

Minneapolis, MN


16 Montre

8 Montre

8 Flûte a cheminee

8 Flûte harmonique

8 Violoncello

4 Prestant

4 Flûte overte

2-2/3 Quinte

2 Doublette

V Fourniture

8 Trompette

4 Clairon



16 Bourdon

8 Diapason

8 Viole de gambe

8 Voix céleste

8 Cor de nuit

4 Prestant

4 Flute octaviante

2 Octavin

2 Plein Jeu IV

2-2/3 Cornet II

16 Basson

8 Trompette harmonique

8 Hautbois

8 Voix humaine

4 Clairon harmonique


   Tower Bells


8 Montre

8 Bourdon

8 Flûte douce

8 Flûte céleste

4 Prestant

4 Flûte conique

2-2/3 Nazard

2 Doublette

2 Quarte de nazard

1-3/5 Larigot

1 Fourniture IV

8 Trompette

8 Cromorne



32 Contre soubasse

16 Grosse flute

16 Montre (GO)

16 Soubasse

16 Bourdon (Recit)

8 Montre

8 Flûte

8 Bourdon

4 Prestant

4 Flûte ouverte

2-2/3 Fourniture IV

32 Contre bombarde

16 Bombarde

16 Basson (Recit)

8 Trompette

4 Clairon

BOMBARDE (floating)

16 Tuba magna

8 Tuba mirabilis

4 Cor harmonique

8 Cornet V

In 1997, Fr. John Forliti, Pastor, appointed Dr. Merritt Nequette and a parish committee to lead an organ project at St. Olaf.  The committee enlisted the services of Dr. Jonathan Biggers, a recognized organ consultant.  After a thorough study, Lively-Fulcher Organbuilders of Alexandria, Virginia, were chosen to build the new instrument which was installed and completed in July, 2001.

The organ was inaugurated in a series of concerts in 2002 beginning on February 9 with a service of blessing by Archbishop Harry J. Flynn, Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and organ recital performed by Dr. Lynn Trapp, Director of Worship and Music, Organist, at St. Olaf Church.  A hymn text by Delores Dufner, OSB was commissioned for the occasion.

The series of inaugural concerts featured: a recital and master class by Swiss organ virtuoso, Guy Bovet; a program of organ and contemporary music with Twin Cities artists; Pipedreams Live, hosted by Michael Barone of Minnesota Public Radio and performers of the Liturgical Organists Consortium; field days for elementary students to learn about the king of instruments; and an organ and orchestra concert with Dr. Jonathan Biggers, organist, and the Kenwood Chamber Orchestra, orchestra in residence at St. Olaf Church, conducted by Ken Freed.  This concert included the premiere of a commissioned work for organ and orchestra composed by Richard Proulx.

The instrument has 61 stops and 67 ranks (49 independent registers) playable over five divisions, Grand Orgue, Récit Expressif, Positif Expressif, Bombarde and Pedale.  The manual and pedal key actions make use of electric slider windchests and the stop action is electric, complete with state of the art combination action, 256 levels of memory and a sequencer.  The wind supply is regulated by a traditional bellows system linked to the wind chests by wooden wind lines.  The console is built in a low profile, curved jamb configuration to enhance the organist's ability to follow the Liturgy and conduct the choir.  The console has natural keys covered in bone and sharp keys of solid ebony. 

The internal layout of the divisions within the organ case places the Positif Expressif centrally in the lower middle of the case and the Grand Orgue above that with the Récit  Expressif  behind the Grand Orgue.  The Bombarde reeds are located in the Positif box and the Pedale division is divided on either side of the manuals and behind the 16-foot Pedal towers in the case.

The casework, constructed of African mahogany, takes its inspiration from the contemporary architecture of the room and has simple Scandinavian design elements yet a firm traditional layout.  The façade pipes are made of 72% tin and include pipes from the Grand Orgue Montre 16', Montre 8' and Pedal Montre 8'.

The organ is completely housed within its own freestanding casework and because of the deep gallery around three sides of the room is positioned at the front center of the church to enable it to fill the room with sound.  A Cymbelstern stop - a group of small bells - is provided on the instrument and the church's tower bells can be played from the Récit  keyboard.

The design of the pipe shades for the instrument is tied to the rich traditions associated with St. Olaf.  They are made of basswood with patterns of dragons, eagles and serpents which are found in the Book of Kells.  These designs are slightly earlier than King Olaf's time, but they are strong Scandinavian symbols from the period.  The cross piercing the crown is based on an 8th century piece made for St. Rupert. 

See the list of organ specificationsOrgan_Index.html

Additional information and corrections to this organ profile are gratefully received by:                  

Richard C Greene, Organ list manager

739 Como Ave

Saint Paul, MN 55103

Also see Organ Historical Society Archive listing: