The Saint John's Bible October 2010: Vol. 2, Issue 10
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So often with The Saint John's Bible, we read and hear the perspectives and reactions from Popes and Bishops, theologians and art historians, who are watching and studying this project closely. Just as important as these worldly perspectives, however, is the deep pride and respect that emanates from the students and faculty at Saint John's—the home of The Saint John's Bible. This month, we have the honor of presenting one such perspective from a lively and intelligent Saint Benedict student, Alison Maguire. Alison spent this past summer as an intern at HMML doing a wide range of tasks and gaining an intimate knowledge The Saint John's Bible. She tells her tale and how all that knowledge came to an exciting culmination one evening in London...


Making Connections: One Student's Extraordinary Experience with The Saint John's Bible.

Alison Maguire

I am usually an incredibly confident and outgoing person, but on Tuesday September 28 I was nervous and couldn’t stop my cheeks from blushing. Why? Because I was about to meet a celebrity. Donald Jackson himself, the man behind The Saint John’s Bible.

I spent last summer living at Saint John’s and working with The Saint John’s Bible project at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library. Nearly every day I gave presentations about The Saint John’s Bible and Donald Jackson—quoting him, telling stories about him, attempting to explain his artistic thought process, and sharing his astounding project with thousands of people. I talked about the Bible so much that I dreamed about it, my friends all got tired of me bringing it up in conversation, I learned more about it than I thought any college student could learn, and I loved every moment of it. Well, loved everything with the exception of unpacking exhibition materials—those Bible display cases are deceivingly heavy!

At the end of the summer, I sadly left my internship, but I was thrilled to go to London where I am studying abroad this semester. On one of my last days at work, I was joking that maybe I would be able to meet Donald in England, which resulted in lots of laughs, but no one really thought it would happen.

A few weeks into my semester in London, through some impressive networking, some of our CSB/SJU study abroad group got the chance to attend "A Concert in Celebration of The Saint John’s Bible," held at St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Last year, St. Martin’s was given a copy of the Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible—the only copy in the United Kingdom. The concert featured music by the renowned St. Martin’s choir, spoken scripture readings, and projected images from The Saint John’s Bible. It was a beautiful concert, and as Mr. Jackson said, he was incredibly moved by seeing the images along with the music.

St. Martin's choir

St. Martin’s choir at St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Photo: Alison Maguire

After the concert, the reception room was full of framed prints from The Saint John’s Bible, giving me the chance to use my summer’s worth of knowledge and give my classmates mini-tours—my boss will be so proud. Donald gave a speech about what inspires him while he’s working, and after that I grabbed my chance to introduce myself to him.

Alison Maguire with Donald Jackson

Alison Maguire with Donald Jackson. Photo: Alison Maguire

In our few moments of conversation, we discussed the expansive audience that The Saint John’s Bible reaches. Here, at the concert, were a few hundred middle aged Londoners with, in many cases, a keen interest in and knowledge about the project. Yet, only one month before, one of my big projects for the summer came to fruition. At orientation, I got to share The Saint John’s Bible with approximately 990 new freshmen students at Saint John’s and Saint Bens, most of whom had never heard of the project before. The fact that this Bible is appreciated by audiences that span continents and span generations is an amazing testament to its success.

In This Issue

• Making Connections

• Upcoming Exhibitions & Events

See the Bible


Science Museum of Minnesota
St. Paul, MN
March 12 - October 24, 2010

Print Exhibitions

The Benedictine Center of
St. Paul's Monastery

Maplewood, MN
September 7 - October 31, 2010

Historical and Cultural Society
of Clay County

Moorhead, MN
October 4 - January 3, 2011

Avera McKennan Hospital,
Cancer Institute

Sioux Falls, SD
October 18 - November 14, 2010

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