On Wednesday, October 9th, 2014 Regis College celebrated the arrival of the seventh and final volume of the Heritage Edition of the St. John's Bible and the completion of this extraordinary gift to the college by George and Gloria Allen of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Celebrating God's Word - The St. John's Bible at Regis College featured short presentations by Regis Professors Michael Kolarcik, S.J., Scott Lewis, S.J. and Gordon Rixon, S.J. and rare book conservators and educators Betsy Palmer Elridge and Pearce J. Carefoote. Each presenter offered an unique reflection on the St. John's Bible and its use in the educational and faith formation outreach of the college. Before and after the formal program, youth from St. Robert's Catholic High School in Thornhill and Holy Family Parish in Bolton joined Regis students to turn pages of the volumes for those in attendance.
The Heritage Edition is a gift from George and Gloria Allen of St. Paul, Minnesota. It was presented to Fr. Schner at a special convocation in St. Joseph Chapel. At the convocation, Abbott John Klassen, O.S.B., of Saint John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota and Sr. Eileen Schuller, o.s.u. of MacMaster University, Hamilton were honored for their study and veneration of the Christian Sacred Scriptures. Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto preached at a Eucharist preceding the convocation. Following the convocation, Archbishop Collins enthroned the Wisdom volume in a special display case in the Atrium of the College designed by Larkin Architects of Toronto. An enthroned volume of the Bible remains on permanent rotating display.
The Allens decided to place the volumes of the Heritage Edition, 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 said. “We have had a long relation with the Canadian Jesuits. We look forward to collaborating in their mission for many years to come."
The seven-volume gift is one of only 299 facsimiles of The Saint John's Bible, the first complete Bible to be scribed and illuminated by hand in more than 500 years. The original combines medieval artistic techniques with contemporary theological reflection in a visual medium.
In appreciation of this remarkable gift, Regis College has initiated a Travelling Program for religious education and faith formation, which has seen volumes of the St. John's Bible visit over eighty parishes, schools, universities and retreat centers. More than 10,000 people have encountered the Old Testament volumes and delighted in the prayerful turning of its hand-crafted pages. Beginning in Advanet, the 2012-2013 Travelling program will feature the Gospels and Acts volume.
A "Page Turners Society" has been created to support exhibitions of the St. John's Bible. Members are trained in the handling of rare books and study the artistic and theological program of the Bible. Students of Regis College and the University of Toronto may apply to join. Benefactors are also welcome to join the Society to support the exhibition of the Bible. For more information, contact Dean Gordon Rixon, S.J. at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-922-5474 x225.
Regis College is located at 100 Wellesley Street West, Toronto, near the corner of Queen's Park Crescent East. Regis College is on the 94 Wellesley bus route and a short walk (south) from the Museum subway station. Public parking is available in the University of St. Michael's College parking lot on St. Joseph Street, one block north of Regis College. The venue is accessible.
Regis College is the Jesuit School of Theology at the University of Toronto and a Founding Member of the Toronto School of Theology.
Members of the public interested in theological education are invited to attend an open house in October and March each year.