The Scribe

Page 1

Summer 2010


The Newsletter of the Heritage Edition–The Full-Size Reproduction of The Saint John’s Bible

Regis College First to Display Heritage Edition in Canada


Mayo Clinic Receives Heritage Edition The Saint John’s Bible to be Shared with Patients, Visitors from Around the Globe


hen patients and their families come to Mayo Clinic for answers to their health issues and concerns, not only will they find the world’s leading medical experts, these visitors who come from around the globe will now encounter The Saint John’s Bible. Mayo Clinic is the first health organization in the world to receive the limited, fine art edition of The Saint John’s Bible. Three of the seven Heritage Edition volumes — Wisdom Books, Prophets and Psalms — were part of a presentation and dedication ceremony on April 28. Steve and Barbara Slaggie, who generously donated the Heritage Edition to Mayo Clinic, helped Saint John’s

University present the full-size reproductions, signed by Donald Jackson, the artistic director of The Saint John’s Bible. “All of us at Saint John’s are thrilled to share messages of hope, hospitality and transformation with patients, families, physicians and staff at Mayo Clinic through the calligraphy and imagery in The Saint John’s Bible,” said Fr. Robert Koopmann, OSB, president of Saint John’s University. “Through their generous support, the Slaggies have brought together two significant treasures of Minnesota which have both, in their own ways, touched the lives of so many throughout the world.” continued on page 2

Photo courtesy of Regis College

Mayo Clinic staff members demonstrate how pages of The Saint John’s Bible are carefully turned two times each week, which allows patients and visitors to see various examples of calligraphy and illumination.

egis College, a Jesuit college at the University of Toronto, received a fine art reproduction of The Saint John’s Bible at a special convocation in Regis’ St. Joseph Chapel on May 27. The Heritage Edition is a gift from George and Gloria Allen. The Allens decided to place the volumes, the first to be presented in Canada, at Regis College because they were confident that the Jesuits would use them in their educational and evangelical ministry across the country. “Gloria and I are delighted to share this inspirational rendering of the Word of God with so many people,” George Allen said. “We have had a long relation with the Canadian Jesuits. We look forward to collaborating in their mission for many years to come.” Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto preached at the Eucharistic celebration

The Psalms volume on display at Regis College in Toronto, Canada. continued on page 2

Mayo Clinic, continued from page 1

Regis College continued from page 1

When the Slaggies decided to donate The Saint John’s Bible to Mayo Clinic, they made the connection that the Bible could provide comfort to patients, families and staff. Likewise, Mayo Clinic, with one of its hospitals (Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minn.) founded by the Sisters of St. Francis, was built on the values of faith and spirituality, which permeate all of the clinic’s locations today. “We anticipate that the ecumenical and interfaith aspects of The Saint John’s Bible will touch people universally no matter their beliefs,” said Suzanne Leaf-Brock, spokesperson and director of communications for Mayo Clinic’s Department of Development. “As a healing organization, we recognize that faith plays a part in many patients’ lives.” Steve Slaggie, who graduated from Saint John’s University in 1961 and has served on the Saint John’s Board of Regents, is the retired corporate secretary of Fastenal Corporation. Steve and Barbara are also benefactors to Mayo Clinic and are included in the Mayo Clinic Hall of Benefactors. “We are very excited about The Saint John’s Bible going to Mayo Clinic,” said Steve Slaggie. “I am so pleased with Mayo's enthusiasm and their plans to prominently display the Bible. Over a million patients/visitors come to Mayo every year, and a large percentage of these will view this exhibit.”

preceding the convocation and placed the Wisdom Books volume in a special display case in the atrium of the college. A volume of the Bible will remain on permanent rotating display. With Wisdom Books, Prophets and Psalms already delivered to the college, the Regis College Heritage Edition of The Saint John's Bible is already scheduled for exhibitions at many parishes in the Archdiocese of Toronto.

Stephen and Barbara Slaggie, who generously donated the Heritage edition to Mayo Clinic, were honored at Mayo’s dedication of The Saint John’s Bible. Mayo Clinic is the first medical center to display the Heritage edition of The Saint John’s Bible.

Institutions to

All Mayo Photos: ©2010 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER).

The Wisdom Books volume is included on Mayo’s art tour, which is held daily for patients and visitors. And because it is in a permanent location, the volume will attract the attention of hundreds of people who walk the halls and subways of Mayo Clinic daily. Wisdom Books is displayed in the Hage Atrium in the Siebens Building, which is near the patient cafeteria. The display includes custom cabinetry; a protective, light-resistant cover; and a monitor that plays a continuous film loop of images from the Bible. Plans to display the Prophets volume at Saint Marys Hospital historic Francis lobby are underway and the opening will occur during Mayo’s annual Heritage Days celebration in October. To learn more, visit

Religious leaders from diverse faith backgrounds give blessings at Mayo Clinic’s dedication of The Saint John’s Bible. From left: Monsignor James D. Habiger, university of St. Thomas; Rabbi Michelle Werner, B’nai israel Synagogue/Dan Abraham Jewish Cultural Center; Pastor Michael Wuehler, Christ united Methodist Church; Rashed Ferdous, islamic Resource Group; and Father nick Mezacapa, Calvary episcopal Church. 2

Three More Receive Heritage Edition, Brings Total to 20 The College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Neb., will

dedicate the gift of The Saint John’s Bible during Heritage Week in September 2010 and use these fine art editions in interdisciplinary study, scholarly research and outreach. It will also serve as a centerpiece of liturgies, an icon for spiritual life and a symbol of the college's Catholic heritage. Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis., will

display its volumes in the Raynor Memorial Library. The Heritage Edition will be dedicated during Mission Week in February 2011. Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., will

celebrate the gift of the Heritage Edition at an August 25 liturgy and ceremony that marks the beginning of the academic year.

Bringing the Good News to Campuses Nationwide

Photo: John Carroll University


or the second year in a row, The Saint John’s Bible was showcased at the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) conference in Washington, D.C. This is the annual meeting of Catholic college and university presidents from around the world. The theme of this year’s conference was “Strategic Issues for Catholic Higher Education” and Catholic mission was a major focus. How does a college’s Catholic mission influence academics, campus life and our larger community? How can a Catholic higher education institution express its Catholic mission and identity? And more fundamentally, what is the Catholic mission? ACCU President Richard Yanikowski presented a wonderful answer to the question of Catholic mission. He referred to Pope John Paul II’s writings: “Pope John Paul II, in Ex corde Ecclesiae, exhorted those of us working in Catholic colleges and universities to be more forthright and more centered on our Catholic identity.” Yanikowski continued, “[Pope John Paul II] called on Catholic universities to be in continuous renewal, both as ‘universities’ and as ‘Catholic.’ He

Students at John Carroll University view pages of the Wisdom Books volume on permanent display in the main atrium of the Grasselli Library.

explicitly reminded us of our mission to bring the Good News to everyone.” The Saint John’s Bible is playing an important role in helping Catholic higher education celebrate and express its Catholic mission. A great example of this is John Carroll University. Upon receiving the first of seven volumes, Fr. Robert Niehoff, SJ, president of John Carroll University, said, “The gift of a Prophets Edition of The Saint John’s Bible speaks profoundly to John Carroll University’s

mission, which is to be a Jesuit and Catholic university that inspires individuals to excel in learning, leadership and service in the region and in the world.” On permanent display in the atrium of John Carroll’s main library, The Saint John’s Bible is housed in a beautiful cabinet. The library staff turns a page each day, which encourages students to spend a part of their day with the Bible. (Although the photos on this page show the Bible placed on top of the display, most are displayed under glass.) If you are interested in learning how The Saint John’s Bible can be integrated with campus life, academics and campus ministry, contact Jim Triggs at You can also visit

The Mass of the Holy Spirit was celebrated at Regis University, Denver, Colo., with The Saint John’s Bible Wisdom Books and Prophets volumes receiving special prominence. Photo courtesy of Regis University.


production notes

Largest Fine Art Volume on Press


“A Legacy of Sacred Art …

A Gift for Generations” A Timeline of the Fine Art Edition December 2008

Wisdom Books delivered

April 4, 2008 June 2009

Prophets delivered

January 2010

Psalms delivered

July 2010

Pentateuch delivery scheduled



ork began in earnest in February on the first images of the Heritage Edition’s Historical Books volume. While the imaging of the first folios was complete late last year, the preparation of the digital files required months of work. The files arrived at The John Roberts Company in late February and the creative and production team began viewing digital proofs against the original work. Sarah Harris and John Parfitt, Donald Jackson’s two printing consultants, visited in late March to review the proofs for color accuracy against the original work. The improvements in technology, including profiling the printing press for the paper used in printing the Heritage Edition volumes, made this process much easier than with previous volumes. With the help of a palette of colors used in creating the original brought to Minnesota from Wales by Sarah, the printers have something against which to compare their proofs. The most rare, full- sized reproduction of The Saint John’s At 272 pages, the Historical Books volume Bible was presented to His is the largest of the seven volumes and will Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on likely be printed in two stages. The team April 4, 2008. As he turned the pages, the Holy Father is excited to continue the process with the described it as “a work of art, largest Heritage Edition printing project a great work of art.” to date.

“In the Beginning…” TO “Amen! Amen! ”

n march 8, Ash Wednesday, the first words of The Saint John’s Bible are written by Donald Jackson. The verses are from the Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, the Word was God …”


Donald Jackson arrives to present the second completed volume, Pentateuch.


2001 o

n april 20, in a special ceremony, the

first completed volume of The Saint John’s Bible, Gospel and Acts, is presented to the public.


in august,



he Psalms volume is unveiled in April at a ceremony at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. On May 26, a delegation from the project presents a giclée copy of Gospels and Acts to Pope John Paul II in Rome.

production notes Photo: Creation, Copyright 2003, The Saint John’s Bible and the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA.

“Amen!” in Sight for Jackson and Scribes


Photo: Michael Freeman, Michael Freeman Photography, London, England

he Historical Books volume of The Saint John’s Bible is finished. The Saint John’s Bible team took possession of the final folios of the Historical Books on March 20, at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport after its uneventful, but historic, ride in first class. Sarah Harris, Jackson’s studio manager, flying coach arrived with the volume in tow with the help of our friends at Delta/KLM. These final folios will be imaged and color corrected for the coffee table edition, which will be available to purchase in the fall. This delivery means that only Letters & Revelation, a 96-page volume, remains to be completed. Once Letters & Revelation is delivered to Saint John’s in 2011, The Saint John’s Bible will be complete. The Committee for Illumination and Text (CIT) has reviewed many of the final sketches for this volume and some of the artists are already working on vellum. Jackson is planning his work and will begin submitting sketches to the CIT soon. A unique creative note: Donald Jackson’s desire and hope is to write and illuminate all of Revelation himself. This will be a fitting finale to a story that began in March of 2000 when Donald wrote “In the beginning was the word …” and will end next spring when Donald writes “Amen.”

Donald Jackson works at his drafting table in his Scriptorium.



n july three representatives of Saint John’s traveled to Monmouth, Wales, to bring Wisdom Books, the fifth completed volume, home to Minnesota. Donald Jackson formally presents the volume to the Committee on Illumination and Text at Saint John’s on September 28.

2006 2005


he fourth completed volume, Prophets, is unveiled in conjunction with the opening of the international touring exhibit, Illuminating the Word, at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.


he last mark in The Saint John’s Bible will be written and Letters & Revelation will be delivered to Saint John’s.

2011 2010

the saint john’s bible team

took possession of the final folios of the Historical Books on March 20, 2010, at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport from the Scriptorium in Wales. 5

Q& A

The Dead Sea Scrolls and The Saint John’s Bible The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition at the Science of Museum of Minnesota includes a gallery devoted to The Saint John’s Bible. We asked Mike Day, senior vice president of the Science Museum of Minnesota, his thoughts about this historic exhibit.


Photos: Craig Theisen, Science Museum of Minnesota

How have visitors reacted to The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition and the 2,000-year history of handwritten sacred manuscripts on display?


Presenting The Saint John’s Bible along with The Dead Sea Scrolls provides an extremely compelling juxtaposition between the oldest and newest hand-scribed bibles. The visitor response has been very positive since the exhibition opened. One visitor described The Saint John’s Bible as “a magnificent manifestation that connects us to the 2,000-year old fragments of ancient Hebrew text viewable in the gallery of Scrolls.” The Saint John’s Bible is proving to be a very moving and meaningful expression of biblical manuscript for museum visitors, in addition to being a monumental artistic work that originated right here in Minnesota.


The majority of the Dead Sea Scrolls were handwritten on vellum (animal skin) and The Saint John’s Bible is also made on vellum. Because so much of current culture is recorded in electronic media, is there a fear that we’re losing a part of our history by moving away from the written word?


Historically a scribe was a person who wrote or transcribed books or documents by hand and it was an elite profession. This profession lost most of its importance and status with the advent of printing. We continue each day to lose this part of our past by moving away from the printed word. The Saint John’s Bible, like the Dead Sea Scrolls, connects us to


Original folios from The Saint John's Bible on display with The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition.

history and educates Science Museum visitors about the stature of the written word.


What tips and suggestions would you provide visitors planning a trip to see The Dead Sea Scrolls: Words that Changed the World?


It is a testament to the world class reputation the museum has achieved that it has been entrusted to host these authentic ancient manuscripts that come from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). The IAA only works with one museum at a time. If you wanted to see an exhibition of the Scrolls from the IAA last year you had to go to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. Next year you have to go to Rome. Now you only have to visit the Science Museum of Minnesota. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, especially to experience together the Dead Sea Scrolls and The Saint John’s Bible.

Mike Day

Find These Helpful Tips and More Online — Visit

• Background information about the Scrolls themselves — including a translation of each scroll on display. • Information about special programming including a Thursday evening lecture series. • Information on bringing a group to the museum, including downloadable materials for organizations to communicate to their group about the exhibition. • Ability to purchase tickets online and print them before your visit to ensure entry as the exhibition has timed tickets; visitors purchase a specific entry time to visit the museum’s Omnitheater and The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition. • Visitors can call 651.221.9444 for more information or to make reservations.

The Heritage Program: Achieving the Vision Five Countries, Eleven States and 20 Institutions


efore Donald Jackson put quill to vellum, a document outlining the vision and values behind The Saint John’s Bible was written by Saint John’s University. This document has guided the work of the scholars, artists and staff on the project for the past 12 years. In many respects, the very first value of this mission statement says it all: “ … Saint John's Abbey and University and calligrapher Donald Jackson, in collaboration with many from the wider community, will produce a Bible, a work of art, that will ignite the spiritual imagination of believers throughout the world.” These words are expansive, inclusive and they speak directly to the values and vision of the Heritage Program.

COunTRieS Canada; Hong Kong, China; The Vatican; united Kingdom; united States

Through partnerships with individuals and institutions around the world, The Saint John’s Bible is now being shared at museums, libraries, universities, hospitals, churches and monasteries in eleven states and five countries.

To learn more, visit and click on “Heritage Program” and go to “Follow the Journey.”

A Lasting Idea and Part of Campus Life

Photo: Steve Woit


enedictines are known for ideas and efforts that last hundreds of years. At Saint John’s University (SJU) and the College of Saint Benedict (CSB), the communities are enjoying the early years of The Saint John’s Bible as part of campus life. And because of the accessibility of the Heritage Edition and the original unbound pages, faculty, staff, students, prospective students, visitors and the monastic community have enjoyed The Saint John’s Bible and will for years to come. For example, the Heritage Edition is now on permanent display in the Great Hall on Saint John’s campus in the visitor reception area. Workshops and lectures on the book arts in classrooms and libraries feature The Saint John’s Bible. CSB and SJU students may now satisfy one visual art credit for their Fine Arts Exposure (FAE) requirement by attending a presentation on The Saint John’s Bible. And the Saint John’s School of

Theology•Seminary uses the Bible in prayer, catechesis and graduate courses. Since the beginning of the project, the Bible has been a vital ingredient of monastic and campus life. These plans will continue to become more visible in months and years to come.

Fr. nikolas Becker, OSB, shows students of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's university, pages of the Heritage edition's Psalms volume.


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Saint John’s Univ.

Saint John’s University Heritage Program PO Box 7222 Collegeville, MN 56321

See The Bible

Museums Display Original Pages and Heritage Edition Photo courtesy of Naples Museum of Art

If your travels bring you to these cities in the next few months, plan an outing to see original pages of The Saint John’s Bible and Heritage Edition volumes. Event information can be found by visiting Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minn.

Selections from Prophets and Wisdom Books will be on display through Oct. 24, 2010. Naples Museum of Art, Naples, Fla.

Heritage Edition’s Prophets and Wisdom Books volumes are part of an exhibition until June 30, 2010. Prophets and Wisdom Books volumes on display at the Naples Museum of Art.

To see a complete listing of Saint John’s Bible events, visit and click on “See the Bible.”

You can also follow the journey of The Saint John’s Bible on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Regular updates, advance notices of new publications and photos of new illuminations can all be found on these social media sites.

The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition We welcome the opportunity for private showings of the Heritage Edition in personal meetings or small gatherings of family, friends and associates. Please indicate your interest using the options below:

q Please contact me to learn more about the Heritage Edition. q Please contact me about a possible referral for the Heritage Edition. q Please add me to the Heritage Edition mailing list. Name ____________________________________________________________________________ Address ___________________________________________________________________________ City_________________________________________State__________Zip____________________ Phone _____________________________Email Address ___________________________________ For more information, contact Jim Triggs, executive director of the Heritage Program, Saint John’s University, 320.363.3209 or

Saint John’s University Heritage Program PO Box 7222 Collegeville, MN 56321




POSTAGE WILL BE PAID BY ADDRESSEE The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Program SAINT JOHN’S UNIVERSITY p.o. box 7222 collegeville, mn 56321-9973

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