About Me

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I am a medievalist and an adjunct college instructor in the humanities at Union College. My research includes medieval theologies of history, text/image relationships in visionary and mystical texts, and the writings of the twelfth-century Doctor of the Church, St. Hildegard of Bingen. I am also a translator of medieval Latin and German texts, especially as relate to my research. My translation of Hildegard's Book of Divine Works is available from Catholic University of America Press here. I completed a Master's in Medieval Studies at the University of Notre Dame in 2010, a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany in 2008, and a B.A. in Classics and German at Boston College in 2007.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

In die cinerum: Ash Wednesday Remembrances

The following is a recollection of Ash Wednesday, 2006 (March 1), which I spent in a visit to the Abbey of St. Hildegard of Bingen, in Eibingen, Germany. It was a day that helped change the course of my life.

It was cold, very cold on that Ash Wednesday morning, as I saw the first darts of dawn sparkle on the Rhein’s waters and light the road up the hill to the Abbey of St. Hildegard of Bingen. The bare branches of the grape vines on the slope were dusted with the previous night’s snow, undisturbed by the revelry in Rüdesheim, the town below—the Germans call it Fasching, the French, Mardi Gras. I reveled in neither, for it had been early to bed Tuesday night, early to rise Wednesday morning, that I might catch the trains from Mainz to Rüdesheim in time for the morning service.