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The Scribe Feb 2013 Vol. 2, Issue 2
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Heritage Edition Featured in KSMQ’s “Off 90”
Saint John's Bible- 7 Volume Set

On February 17, Public Television’s KSMQ aired the story of Austin Public Library and its work with
The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition.

It is an inspirational piece that vividly shows how one community shares these beautiful volumes.

You can watch it on the YouTube link above or click here.


Students and Community to Benefit from La Roche College’s Acquisition of The Saint John’s Bible

Rev. Peter Horton, Director of Campus Ministry and Community Service for La Roche College, was the celebrant for the institution’s Jubilee Mass and reception of the Heritage Edition.    Photo Courtesy Jibran Mushtaq

On October 28, 2012, La Roche College, a private, Catholic, coeducational college north of Pittsburgh and founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, celebrated a Jubilee Mass heralding its 50th anniversary. At this ceremony, the college also enthroned the The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition which will serve as a spiritual centerpiece during its anniversary year, as well as play a major role in the college’s future.

“Being a Catholic college is at the very core of our mission at La Roche College, and as a Catholic college, all that we strive to do is informed and guided by the word of God. While God’s words are reflected in our actions and our programs, our acquisition of The Saint John’s Bible provides us with a way to make God’s word visible in a tangible sense,” explained La Roche College President Sister Candace Introcaso, CDP, Ph.D. “This Bible marks La Roche as an institution that is proud to assert its Catholic beliefs and the values which they reflect.”

La Roche will display the volumes throughout the campus that the college shares with the Sisters of Divine Providence. Instructors are putting them to use including introducing all incoming students to the Bible during the freshmen La Roche Experience course. “Students learn about how the Bible was made and get a hands-on opportunity to study it,” explained Sister Michele Bisbey, Ph.D., professor of religious studies and Ketteler Endowed Chair of Theology at La Roche College. “We are also in the process of developing courses around the Bible, including interdisciplinary courses for students in our religious studies and design classes.”

There are many reasons why La Roche chose The Saint John’s Bible as a teaching tool. “I think that one of the most important things is that the Bible is accessible because of the translation. It is the first Bible in English—actually the only illuminated Bible in English; the rest are in Latin,” said Sr. Michele. “The Bible also draws attention to contemporary issues through illuminations drawn by the best Biblical scholars we have, combined with modern science and art,” she added. “The physical Bible was produced using ancient techniques such as quills and hand-ground ink, but is also available online so that students can turn every page of the Bible on the website. This is a wonderful combination; and for the students in our design programs, it’s phenomenal.”

Jubilee Mass
Mother of Divine Providence Chapel
La Roche College.
Photo Courtesy Jibran Mushtaq

As an institution of higher learning that welcomes students of all religions and ethnic origins, it was important that The Saint John’s Bible speak to their needs as well. “This Bible weaves together various religious traditions through its words and art; it is ecumenical in nature,” explains Sr. Michele, adding that illuminations and text include everything from menorahs and Hebrew names to Islamic mandalas and Buddhist and Hindu chants. “Because La Roche’s mission is to nurture a global community, we appreciate that it draws together the best of religious traditions.”

Bringing The Saint John’s Bible to La Roche College also brought together members of the community, who raised all of the money needed to purchase the volumes through private contributions, according to Michael Andreola, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “Benefactors believed that La Roche should have this treasure of spiritual and artistic significance,” he said of the fundraising campaign that began last January. The enthroning of the Bible and the 50th anniversary Mass was attended by benefactors, as well as local dignitaries and elected officials.

Since its arrival at La Roche, The Saint John’s Bible has been used to educate those outside of its classrooms as well. A number of different groups have already contacted the college to arrange presentations about the Bible, including local parishes. “I think that it becomes a focal piece for the college; it allows us all to experience appreciation for the word of God,” she explained. “In an academic environment where words are central, this is the most important word, and the Bible allows us to have a visual artifact to draw people in. In enables us to talk about the many ways that God is present in our midst, as well as to present an evolution of salvation history.”

   - Vanessa Orr is a freelance writer for La Roche College and other clients in Pittsburgh, PA

See the Bible
Touring Exhibitions

Hill Museum & Manuscript Library
Saint John's Universtity
Collegeville, MN
Exhibition opens February 25, 2013

Canton Museum of Art
Canton, OH
December 5, 2013 to March 2, 2014

Print Exhibitions

Franciscan Spirituality Center
La Crosse, WI
April 1, 2013 - April 30, 2013

Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County
Moorhead, MN
Aug. 1, 2013 - September 15, 2013

Polish Cultural Institute & Museum
Winona, MN
Aug. 6, 2013 - September 1, 2013