Mission in Motion
Mission at Alvernia While serving students of both Christian and non-Christian traditions, Alvernia University provides an atmosphere and an environment that foster inter-cultural, inter-religious discourse as well as civic engagement and social responsibility. In that spirit, current initiatives are underway reflecting both the university’s Franciscan heritage and Catholic intellectual tradition: ■ Uniting through I nterfaith Dialogue ■ The St. John’s Bible — Illustrated Heritage Edition Exhibit ■ Multi-Year Vatican II Lecture Series As a Franciscan university, Alvernia is committed to promoting interfaith dialogue, both as a path to mutual understanding but also as a way for us to better understand our own faith traditions. These conversations help to illustrate that there is more that unites us than divides us, and that talking to one other can help us all overcome the stereotypes and fears that too often divide us.
“We must walk united with our differences: there is no other way to become one.” — Pope Francis Coming on the heels of Eboo Patel’s appearance on Alvernia’s campus, the university is partnering Patel’s Interfaith Youth Core to give students of different religious traditions an opportunity to talk about shared values. Alvernia is also an active participant in A Common Heart — an organization that works to increase tolerance, understanding and respect among the interfaith community, and annually grants the Fromm Interfaith Award to an Alvernia student who demonstrates leadership in interfaith dialogue.
“Vision of the New Temple,” by Donald Jackson (2005) for The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Minn. This early floor plan from the 17th century reconstruction of the temple has been suffused with the intersecting bows of light—”like the bow in a cloud on a rainy day” as Ezekiel had seen by the river Chebar. The seven colors of the rainbow echo the many sevens in the text and also serve as a motif for God’s presence in the illumination of Ezekiel’s Vision with the scroll and Isaiah’s Vision of God in the temple.
The Saint John’s Bible is the first handwritten, illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey in over 500 years. Its handwritten lettering and stunning artworks truly present the Word of God in an engaging and inspirational way. Discover the beauty and splendor of The Saint John’s Bible at an exhibition of the Heritage Edition, a full scale fine art edition of the original manuscript, on display in the Dr. Frank A. Franco Library Learning Center from January through Decemeber 2014. On display at Alvernia:
top: Copyright Terry Anderson Photography.
■ Pentateuch – first five books of the Bible ■ Gospels and acts – last five books of the bible
Top left: The “Garden of Desire” illumination in Wisdom Books is a type of labyrinth depicting the search for a sense of closeness with God we can attain here on earth. Bottom left: “The Garden of Eden,” by Donald Jackson with contribution by Chris Tomlin (2003) for The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Minn. This is the second of three illuminations at the beginning of Genesis. Creation, the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve form a trilogy offering a powerful and detailed visual insight into the opening pages of the Old Testament.
Vatican II Lecture Series Alvernia University’s three-year lecture series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council began in the fall of 2012 and continues through 2015. The goal of the series is to help participants more fully understand the Council’s legacy and its impact on Church and Society, on Catholics but also on women and men of many backgrounds. Though the Council’s resolutions were made more than 50 years ago, they continue to shape our path to unity today. For this reason, it is important to step back and appreciate the forward-thinking work and accomplishments of the Second Vatican Council. Mark your calendar for these Vatican II lectures at Alvernia: ■S pring 2014: Impact panel discussion A panel of individuals who entered adulthood in the years of the council will discuss the impact the changes had on each of their lives. ■O ct 23, 2014: Dr. Richard Gaillardetz Dr. Richard Gaillardetz of Boston College will speak about the theology of baptism, as shaped in the council. ■S pring 2015: Dr. Massimo Faggioli Dr. Massimo Faggioli from the University of St. Thomas will address the issues of interpreting Gaudium et Spes, one of the council’s most important apostolic constitutions. ■F all 2015: Dr. Angela Camara Concluding the series in fall of 2015, Dr. Angela Camara of Seton Hall University will explain a half-century of work based on the council’s declaration of religious liberty.
Mission Statement of Alvernia University Guided by Franciscan values and the ideal of “knowledge joined with love,” and rooted in the Catholic and liberal arts traditions, Alvernia is a rigorous, caring, and inclusive learning community committed to academic excellence and to being and fostering broadly educated, life-long learners; reflective professionals and engaged citizens; and ethical leaders with moral courage.
Front cover: “Creation,” by Donald Jackson with contribution by Chris Tomlin (2003) for The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Minn. This opening illumination to the Book of Genesis is a diagrammatic, explicitly setting out each of the steps in the creation of the world.
Mission in Motion