Rabbi Philip Weintraub of Congregation Agudas Israel in Newburgh, N.Y. and Fr. Francis Amodio, O.Carm., Mount campus chaplain and director of Campus Ministry, bless the college’s newly acquired volumes of the Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition on Monday, December 5, as Mount president Dr. David Kennett and Mount board chair Charles Frank look on.
The Mount Saint Mary College community marked the closing of the 800th Dominican Jubilee Year by blessing the college’s newly acquired volumes of the Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition on Monday, December 5.
The two volumes were blessed by Rabbi Philip Weintraub of Congregation Agudas Israel in Newburgh, N.Y. and Fr. Francis Amodio, O.Carm., campus chaplain and director of Campus Ministry.
“I pray that these texts here will inspire us all to do beautiful and righteous acts,” said Rabbi Weintraub. “We know that when we stand together, as Christians, as Jews, and as Muslims, we ensure its blessing.”
In 2016, the Dominican Order throughout the world celebrated their 800th Jubilee Year of the Order of Preachers. St. Dominic established the first community of the Order of Preachers in the 13th century.
“The Dominican Jubilee, the Year of Mercy, has ended. And yet, within these pages of the Saint John’s Bible, we find God’s mercy overflowing,” noted Sr. Lucy Povilonis, OP.
Mount Saint Mary College recently acquired the full seven-volume Heritage Edition set of the Saint John’s Bible, the first handwritten and illuminated Bible produced in more than 500 years.
The Heritage Edition, a fine art reproduction that captures the original Saint John’s Bible down to the smallest details, is a limited edition of 299 copies. Mount Saint Mary College now owns two volumes – Psalms and Letters & Revelation – of copy number 133. Weighing more than 15 pounds each, the volumes stand approximately 18” tall and more than 4 feet wide when opened.
Subsequent volumes will be received over the course of the next two years. They will be displayed in the Mount’s Kaplan Family Library and Learning Center, under the care of library director Barbara Petruzzelli and her staff.
“These are not meant to be locked away or to put under a glass case,” said Charles Zola, chair of the Division of Philosophy and Religious Studies, associate professor of philosophy, and director of the Mount’s Catholic and Dominican Institute. “As the living word of God, these volumes are something we want to integrate into the curriculum and share with the community.”
Ilona McGuiness, vice president of Academic Affairs at the Mount, added, “This is a beautiful piece of art to complement our beautiful college and rich academics.”
On display during the blessing was the Dominican Heritage Quilt, which celebrates the rich history and charisms of the Dominican Order. The quilt, constructed earlier this year by the Mount community, was inspired by the art of the Saint John’s Bible.
The Dominican Sisters founded Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y. in 1959, using as a guideline the four pillars of Dominican life: study, prayer, service, and community.
“We are proud of the deep spiritual and intellectual roots from which Mount Saint Mary College has sprung and is continually nourished,” said Zola. “We all are indebted to the great sacrifices and example of [the sisters] who founded the college.”
The Mount community thanks those involved in the Saint John’s purchase, including Zola, Petruzzelli, and Daniel Shea, English professor and chair of the college’s Division of Arts and Letters.
Admiring the Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition after the blessing are Charles Zola, chair of the Division of Philosophy and Religious Studies, associate professor of philosophy, and director of the Mount’s Catholic and Dominican Institute; Rabbi Philip Weintraub of Congregation Agudas Israel in Newburgh, N.Y.; and Barbara Petruzzelli, director of the Mount’s Kaplan Family Library and Learning Center.