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Saint Mary’s College Begins New Academic Year with Gift of The Saint John’s Bible

August 31, 2010 – Each fall, the campus community of Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., comes together to celebrate the opening of the academic year. This year, the capstone to the celebration was the presentation of the Heritage Edition, which was a gift from Saint Mary’s alumna and friend of the college, Judy Rauenhorst Mahoney ’74.

The Bible was presented to Saint Mary's College and blessed at the Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit on August 25 at the all-women’s Catholic college, which was founded in 1844 and sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

“It is an honor to receive the Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible,” said President Carol Ann Mooney of the seven-volume manuscript. “Saint Mary’s is proud to be among the few educational, religious, art and cultural centers around the world, including the Vatican, to be presented one of just 299 copies of this fine work.”

Saint Mary’s College’s Heritage Edition will be on permanent display at the Cushwa-Leighton Library. One volume of the Bible at a time will sit open, under glass, on the top of a cabinet handcrafted by monastic and lay woodworkers at Saint John’s Abbey. The other volumes will be housed in individual drawers in the cabinet. To showcase the beauty of the Bible’s artwork and calligraphy, a librarian will trade out the volume on display and open it to readings appropriate to the liturgical season.

“I was really inspired by The Saint John’s Bible project and, out of love for Saint Mary’s, I thought of the college right away and how students could be influenced by it,” Mahoney said of her gift. The Bible combines the Minneapolis resident’s love for art and books. “I came to Saint Mary’s to study art but changed my major to humanistic studies where we studied Christian culture and read a lot of books. The essence of Christian culture is the Bible. This is a combination of a good book and an art masterpiece and I hope the college and South Bend communities enjoy the Heritage Edition for years to come.”

During the Mass, four of the Bible’s seven volumes – Pentateuch, Psalms, Prophets and Wisdom Books – were presented and displayed. The college will receive the three subsequent volumes – Gospels and Acts, Historical Books and Letters and Revelation – as they are completed.

“Because the mission of The Saint John’s Bible is to ignite the spiritual imagination of people around the world, Saint John’s is thrilled that Saint Mary’s plans to share these beautiful volumes with students and staff for generations to come,” said Abbot John Klassen, OSB, who concelebrated the mass with Rev. Kenneth M. Molinaro, CSC, assistant provincial of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Indiana Province, and a member of the Saint Mary's College Board of Trustees.

Saint Mary’s College is the second institution in the eastern region of the Midwest and the 15 institution worldwide to receive a copy of the Heritage Edition. To read more, click here.