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News

Escobedo Saint John’s Bible Lecture Series to focus on Christ’s Passion

March 03, 2015 | posted by Andrew Festa

Topics: Catholic Schools


Escobedo Saint John’s Bible Lecture Series to focus on Christ’s Passion

Father Senior to explore Gospel depictions of Jesus’ death

Father Donald Senior, CP, will present “Contemplating the Face of the Crucified Christ: Four Gospel Portraits” on Monday, March 16, as part of the Escobedo Saint John’s Bible Lecture Series.

Father Senior is president emeritus of CatholicTheological Union in Chicago, the largest Roman Catholic graduate school of ministry in the United States.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. in the University Center’s Conference Room A on campus. Volumes of The Saint John’s Bible will be on display,and a reception will follow.

The presentation will focus on the moment of Jesus’ death in each of the four Passion narratives. Each evangelist reflects on the death of Jesus and its meaning from a different vantage point. Savoring these differences helps us explore the profound theology of the four Gospels and the meaning of Jesus’ encounter with death.

Father Senior is a member of the Passionist Congregation and received his doctorate in New Testament studies from the University of Louvain in Belgium in 1972. He is the general editor of the acclaimed Catholic Study Bible. He’s also involved in interreligious dialogue, particularly with Jewish and Muslim communities.

He received the O’Connell-Douglas Award for contribution to interreligious and ecumenical harmony and the Gutenberg Award for biblical scholarship in 2013. Last year, he was awarded the Order of Lincoln Award – Illinois’ highest honor for public service. He currently serves as the President of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago. Pope John Paul II appointed him as a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission in 2001, and he was reappointed in 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Saint John’s Bible is the first handwritten, hand-illuminated Bible to be commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey in more than 550 years, and its seven-volume Heritage Edition now resides at St. Mary’s University. The Saint John’s Bible was commissioned in 1998 by the Benedictine monks of Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minn. The Heritage Edition, valued at about $150,000, is a full-scale reproduction of the original masterpiece; each volume measures 2 feet tall by 3 feet wide when open. Only 299 sets exist, and St. Mary’s owns the only one in Texas.

Rubén M. Escobedo (B.B.A. ’60) and his wife, Verόnica Salazar Escobedo, gave $500,000 last year to create the Escobedo Saint John’s Bible Lecture Series Endowment. The gift allows for the recruitment of scriptural scholars, research and curriculum design, and other programming as St. Mary’s seeks to establish a Center for Catholic Studies.

St. Mary’s acquired the Bible in 2013 through the generosity of John and Susan Morrison, longtime friends of St. Mary’s University President Thomas M. Mengler, J.D.