Belmont Abbey College Completes Historic “Cover to Cover” Bible Marathon Reading Event

April 17, 2024

Belmont Abbey College Completes Historic “Cover to Cover” Bible Marathon Reading Event

Belmont, N.C. (April 17, 2024)Belmont Abbey College recently concluded a groundbreaking initiative known as “Cover to Cover,” a marathon reading of the Bible. From Monday, April 8th, through Thursday, April 11th, the college community embarked on a continuous reading of the Bible, marking a significant milestone in the institution’s history. This unique endeavor, possibly the first of its kind among Catholic colleges in the United States, aimed to unite the Belmont Abbey community through a profound immersion in the Bible and served as preparation for the Bishop’s Youth Pilgrimage event for the Diocese of Charlotte operated by the college’s Hintemeyer Scholarship Program students and held on the Abbey’s campus. The

The Cover to Cover event, which took place outside the college’s main administration building, Stowe Hall, saw participants standing at a podium, reading aloud from Sacred Scripture throughout the day and night. Students, faculty, monks, and staff took turns reading, ensuring a seamless transition from one reader to the next. Wesley Nelson, Director of Campus Ministry, marveled at how many people had echoed his own feelings: that “the particular passage that the Lord had ordained that I would be reading was of particular meaning to me in my relationship with Him.” Lily Miller, a freshman at Belmont Abbey College, shed tears as she read from John’s Gospel, particularly touched by the poignant exchange between Christ and Peter.

Involving over 110 readers, the Cover to Cover event was completed in 85 hours and 42 minutes and concluded in the early hours of Friday, April 12th, a precursor of grace for the upcoming Bishop’s Youth Pilgrimage. During a final gathering, Tom MacAlester, the Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, quoted the last chapter of Revelation, emphasizing the eternal nature of the participants’ faith journey.

Dr. MacAlester reflected on the significance of the event, stating, “Our first Cover to Cover event at Belmont Abbey College began with the transit of the moon between us and the sun: a partial solar eclipse. In a tangible and celestial way, God was communicating to our little community that by embarking on this unique and beautiful journey we were, in a way, living these words. By proclaiming the word of God continuously, we found we did not need a ‘lamp or sun’ to illuminate our path. We had Scripture to provide that to us. And God Himself, revealed through the entirety of the Bible, shone that light straight down Abbey Lane.”

This immersive experience aligns with the Benedictine prayer tradition, which emphasizes the continuous engagement with the Word of God. The Cover to Cover event serves as a testament to the enduring monastic tradition of 1,500 years, carrying forward the practice of faithful and contemplative scripture engagement.

For more information about Belmont Abbey College and its commitment to spiritual growth and academic excellence, please visit

Sarah Bolton

Marketing Project Manager

Belmont Abbey College


About Belmont Abbey College: Founded in 1876, Belmont Abbey College is a private, Catholic baccalaureate and liberal arts institution. Our mission is to educate students in the liberal arts and sciences so that in all things God may be glorified. Guided by the Catholic intellectual tradition and the Benedictine spirit of prayer and learning, we welcome a diverse body of students and provide them with an education that will enable them to lead lives of integrity, to succeed professionally, to become responsible citizens, and to be a blessing to themselves and to others. Our beautiful and historic campus is conveniently located just 10 miles west of Charlotte, N.C., and is currently home to more than 1500 students. For more information, visit

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