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At the Heart of the Peace Church Tradition

By Patrick O'Neill

When someone first picks up On All My Holy Mountain: A Modern Fraktur, they may think they are reading a one-of- a-kind handmade text.

The cover, made from Italian fiocardi stock, is bound with a coarse linen cord fashioned into a bow. In its artistic beauty, the book has the feel of a sacred text, and that’s just the way publisher Diane Katz likes it.

Katz met authors Jonathon Wilson-Hartgrove D’06 and Isaac Villegas D’06 at the Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship where the three worshipped. Her inspiration for the book was the two young preachers’ reflections on Scripture passages that reflect the heart of the peace church tradition.

The reflections were also used daily during morning prayers at Rutba House, the intentional Christian community that Villegas, Wilson-Hartgrove, and Jonathan’s wife, Leah, founded in Durham.

Katz reproduced the text in calligraphy and created original illustrations in Fraktur, a Mennonite folk art style brought from Europe by those fleeing religious persecution. Each book, handcrafted by Katz and her husband, Phillip, in the couple’s Chatham County workshop, is a combination of her artistic acumen and his computer skills.

The Washington National Cathedral museum store chose to list On All My Holy Mountain in its 2006 catalogue, an unusual and significant honor for a self-published text.

Pax Christi USA, a Catholic peace group, commended On All My Holy Mountain for offering “an opportunity to study Scripture … as we commit to action for peace in our daily lives. This book recognizes that this process cannot be rushed.”

Diane Katz has also produced A Word in Season, a compilation of sermons delivered by 11 preachers of the Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship. The sermons of Wilson-Hartgrove, Villegas and four others with ties to Duke Divinity School—Fred and Elizabeth Bahnson, Alex Sider and Peter Dula, are included in Word in Season.

For more information about these books, go to Rosenberry books, etc. or call 1-800-723-0336.