Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica

Posted by: on October 25, 2017   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

Ruane Hall is lovely. The new Business School and Science Building provide our students and faculty state-of-the-art facilities. But there’s nothing quite like a PC-in-Rome classroom. On Friday, October 20th, students in Alexandra Massini’s “Angels and Demons” class and my own “Roman Stoicism” class joined expert guide Livia Galante for a day-trip to nearby Ostia Antica.

About 20 miles southwest of Rome, Ostia was the ancient harbor city of Rome. It’s history, if not as grand, is as complicated and fascinating as that of Rome herself. Used for defense and for trade from Julius Caesar to Augustus, Ostia was nearly double the size of the more famous ‘Pompeii’ archaeological site — and nearly as well preserved, too.

Here the students learn about different kinds of masonry in Ostia. Why learn about a brick? Because the quality of materials and craftsmanship teaches an intimate lesson of the ‘boom and bust’ times of the Ostian economy. Bricks tightly joined together evidence greater wealth than houses or civic buildings featuring more loosely-joined masonry. 

 

Like all Ancient cities, civic life and cultural revolved around a great amphitheater, where theatrical performances, poetry competitions, and even small-scale mock sea battles took place!

 

With students taking notes on their trusty phones and Ipads, the surrounding Ostian classroom provides tactile and kinesthetic experiences that simply can’t be had anywhere else. 

 

 

An intimate view into Ancient life around every corner, the latrines are always a big hit with students. Nothing shows the inner workings of a culture more than their private moments!

 

 

 

Ostia was also a prominent site for the Roman Cult of Mithras. Mithraism was the major religion in Rome from the 1st Century BC to the 4th Century AD.  Many scholars have demonstrated its vast influence on early Christian rites, imagery, and even holidays. There were seven levels of ‘initiation rites’ associated with the Mithraian mysteries. A ‘Mithraeum’ is where these rites took place. Nearly always underground and depicting the hero Mithras killing a bull, Ostia’s Mithrauem is one of the most distinctive and best preserved.

 

Apart from the art and archaeological history lesson of Ostia, my own class on Stoicism was also able to make a unique connection with Ostia. Port cities were the major hub of economic transactions. And it’s unfortunately true that the slave trade was among the most significant aspects of the Ancient economy. While Stoicism is better noted as the principle Roman philosophy because of celebrity figures like Cicero, Seneca, and Emperor Marcus Aurelius, two of its most important advocates were the Turkish freed slave Epictetus and a slave whom we know came through Ostia Antica itself: Publius Syrus.

Brought to Italy through Ostia from Syria as a boy during the 80’s BC, we believe Syrus eventually earned his freedom  through his wit and obvious intelligence. He came even to defeat Caesar’s own court poet in a literary competition of 46BC. His theatrical skills were also the stuff of legend, though they are unfortunately lost. What remains of Syrus’ writings are his ‘Sententiae’ or pithy little apothegms full of wisdom and advice for living that good Stoic life. Among some of his better gems are:

 “Poverty is the lack of many things, but avarice is the lack of all things.”

“Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.”

“Fortune is like glass—the brighter the glitter, the more easily broken.”

 

This last quotation suggests one of the overriding concerns of Publius and of the Stoics generally: fortune. Not merely good or bad luck, Fortuna was worshiped, feared, and appeased by the Roman people as a quasi-deity. The entirety of Stoic practical philosophy can be summarized as a resistance to Fortuna, both good fortune and bad fortune. We do this not by becoming richer or more powerful. Instead, we should learn to value only that which stands within our power to control. What alone lies ever in our free control is our ‘prohairesis’ or ability to elect our actions. Even if fortune should prevent those actions being carried out successfully, it is always in our power to ‘aim rightly’ at the targets that are in our power to value.

Publius Syrus, as a slave, obviously had far fewer gifts of fortune than other Stoics like Seneca or Marcus Aurelius, and probably far fewer than everyday Roman citizens. But he considered himself happy and good insofar as he could choose to limit what he valued to the scope of activities and objects he could in fact achieve and acquire. And insofar as everything he valued was within power to achieve, he considered himself freer than even Caesar.

The real opportunity of a study abroad program, it seems to me, is the chance to expand one’s horizons of thinking. By spending time in the cold Mithraeum we get a better sense of what it would have been like to worship as a Roman. By sitting in the bright sun of their amphitheater, we get a better sense than any textbook could tell us what it would have been like to actually experience a Roman theatrical performance. And by walking through both the slave auction and the Temple of Fortuna, our students acquire at least some sense of just what it would have been like to hold one’s philosophical positions, not simply as a set of theorems, but also as a living, breathing, way of life.

Ruane Hall is lovely. The new Business School and Science Building provide our students and faculty state-of-the-art facilities. But there’s nothing quite like a PC-in-Rome classroom. On Friday, October 20th, students in Alexandra Massini’s “Angels and Demons” class and my own “Roman Stoicism” class joined expert guide Livia Galante for a day-trip to nearby Ostia […]MORE

A Papal Audience

Posted by: on October 9, 2017   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

Last Wednesday, 48 Providence College students participated in one of Rome’s most meaningful spiritual activities: the Papal Audience. To judge by the numbers on the tickets, we joined 20,000 Catholic and non-Catholics at St. Peter’s Square, between Bernini’s grand 284 columns, under some 140 statues of Saints, and in front of the most significant building in Christendom. There they saw in person Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who in March 2013 became the 266th Pope, Francis I, the Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of Vatican City, the Vicar of Christ on Earth.

Papal Audiences are the traditionally given each week on Wednesdays to provide an opportunity for the faithful to not only see the Holy Father, but also to receive the Papal Blessing from the direct successor of St. Peter. The day starts with the Pope taking a tour of those gathered in his iconic so-called ‘Pope Mobile’.

The Audience then begins with a short reading from the New Testament in a number of languages: English, French, German, Italian, and Pope Francis’ native language of Spanish. The Pope offers a greeting in each of these languages, either personally or through a translator, signaling out some of the larger groups in attendance. And finally, in those several languages, the Pope offers a brief teaching.

“I am not usually a morning person, but on the day of the Papal audience it was easy to be. I was immediately woken up to women in wedding dresses and people from all over the world quickly walking towards the Vatican. We all shared one thing in common, and that was our excitement. We were filled with anticipation and hope that we would be lucky enough to have the Pope pass by us. Our wish was more than granted. I’ve never felt like I understood a different language more than I did while listening to Pope Francis speak. I couldn’t interpret it, but I still felt like I knew what he was saying. It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to go home and tell people about it.” –Jaime Warren

The first Jesuit Pope, and the first Pope from South America, Francis chose his name in homage to Saint Francis of Assisi. And like his namesake, Pope Francis focused his message upon the social teaching of the church. The message on Wednesday mainly concerned the nature of hope, or ‘speranza’. Where there is God’s love, there is always hope. And where there is hope, there is always the possibility of human redemption. Hope is what leads immigrants to search for a better life. And hope in our futures and our children’s futures is what should lead us to care for our natural environment. Hope is accordingly among our greatest gifts, which we should endeavor to cultivate among our neighbors throughout the world, with special concern for the poor and dispossessed.

Many of our students grabbed a prime place along the rail to view the Holy Father as he processed down a main aisle. Although his car did not stop, he did acknowledge several PC students as he was driven by, offering us the Sign of the Cross in blessing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Attending the Papal Audience was one of my most memorable experiences from my semester abroad thus far. Seeing Pope Francis ride through St. Peter’s square waving and smiling to people from all over the world was amazing! I loved that I was able to share this experience with other students from PC, it is truly something I will never forget!” — Kathryn Rosseel

Two students, Olivia Ferri and Michael Splann, even brought ‘Zucchetti’ to the Audience. These small hats worn by Cardinals and Popes are endearingly nicknamed such due to their alleged resemblance to a ‘zucca’ or pumpkin. The students had purchased them from none other than the famous “Ditta Annibale Gammarelli,” who have provided ecclesial clothing for Popes since Pope Pius VI in 1798 .

But with all the fun and excitement of this festival-like environment, we are reminded what it means to be Catholic. We are Providence College students and faculty, we are Friar Basketball fans, we are finance majors and history buffs and aspiring doctors and lawyers — we are a collection of individuals who work toward our individual goals and individual interests. But as Catholics, we are also members of a universal family: the Church. It is a church that knows no national borders and no divisions among those of different races, genders, or legal status: all are called to be united in the life of Christ. Joined by some 20,000 other human beings in this holy space — praying together in dozens of languages with Christians from dozens of countries — reminds of of who we are and what we really ought to be hopeful for.

Pope Francis’ message of ‘speranza’ is a hope for the peaceful unity of the entire human family.

 

 

 

 

 

Last Wednesday, 48 Providence College students participated in one of Rome’s most meaningful spiritual activities: the Papal Audience. To judge by the numbers on the tickets, we joined 20,000 Catholic and non-Catholics at St. Peter’s Square, between Bernini’s grand 284 columns, under some 140 statues of Saints, and in front of the most significant building […]MORE

A Visit to the Mother Church of the Friars in Rome

Posted by: on March 19, 2016   |Comments (0)|Theology classes in Rome

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Providence College was founded in 1917 by the Dominican Order.  The Dominican Tradition has its origin in the life and ministry of St. Dominic de Guzman (1172 – 1221), the son of a Spanish noble, who founded one of the largest religious Orders in the Catholic Church.  His charismatic vision of a way of responding to the needs of the Church in the thirteenth century led to the establishment of the Order of Preachers –popularly known as  the Dominicans.

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The Providence College in Rome program is rooted in and flows from the Catholic and Dominican mission of the College.  The students are able to experience, in very tangible ways, the Dominican “ethos” and “narrative” while studying here in Rome.

Santa Sabina exterior

One way this happens is by visiting the world headquarters of the Dominican Order at Santa Sabina.  Santa Sabina basilica is the Mother Church of the Dominican Order and is located on top of one of the seven hills of Rome – the Aventine Hill.

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This semester our tour was led by Fr. Michael Mascari, O.P.  Currently, Fr. Mascari serves on the General Council of the Order and works closely with the Master General.  His position is known as “Socius for the Intellectual Life”.  He is also a former member of the Board of Trustees of Providence College.

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Santa Sabina is a 5th century early Christian basilica built over the family home of St. Sabina. In the first century, the Aventine was the site of an affluent patrician neighborhood.  It is thought that Sabina was the patroness of a “house church” which means that Christians met at her home for prayer, worship, and celebration of the Eucharist.

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Santa Sabina mosaic

While explaining the art and architecture of this beautiful church,  Fr. Mascari also wove in the story of Dominic, his foundation of the Order, and his experiences while living in Rome.

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Santa Sabina doors

After exploring the basilica, we went inside the residence or “convent” of the Dominicans.  This is where the cell of St. Dominic is located.  Transformed into a chapel, this room of Dominic made a deep impression on the students.  We said a prayer there together asking for Dominic’s help and inspiration.

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Santa Sabina 6

Besides St. Dominic, there are other famous Dominicans who have lived at Santa Sabina.  A plaque on the wall listing former residents offers a veritable “Who’s Who” of Dominican history.  St. Albert the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas  and Pope St. Pius V all lived here at one time or another. We also saw  St. Pius V’s cell, which has been turned into a chapel as well.

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Image result for santa sabina rome

I think it’s important for our students to get a sense of the international character of the Dominican Order, its history, legacy, and mission in the Church today.  Experiences like our tour of Santa Sabina should provide that. After all, a Friar is more than just a basketball mascot!

 GO FRIARS!

 

 

 

Providence College was founded in 1917 by the Dominican Order.  The Dominican Tradition has its origin in the life and ministry of St. Dominic de Guzman (1172 – 1221), the son of a Spanish noble, who founded one of the largest religious Orders in the Catholic Church.  His charismatic vision of a way of responding to […]MORE

Santa Sabina and Dominican History

Posted by: on April 1, 2015   |Comments (0)|Study Abroad

 

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Providence College was founded in 1917 by the Dominican Order.  The Dominican Tradition has its origin in the life and ministry of St. Dominic de Guzman (1172 – 1221), the son of a Spanish noble, who founded one of the largest religious Orders in the Catholic Church.  His charismatic vision of a way of responding to the needs of the Church in the thirteenth century led to the establishment of the Order of Preachers –popularly known as  the Dominicans.

Santa sabina 8

The PC in Rome program is rooted in and flows from the Catholic and Dominican mission of the College.  The students are able to experience, in very tangible ways, the Dominican “ethos” and “narrative” while studying here in Rome.

Santa Sabina 7

One way this happens is by visiting the world headquarters of the Dominican Order at Santa Sabina.

Santa Sabina

Santa Sabina basilica is the Mother Church of the Dominican Order and is located on top of one of the seven hills of Rome – the Aventine Hill.

Santa Sabina 3

This semester our tour was led by Fr. Dominic Izzo, O.P.  Fr. Izzo is a Rhode Island native, a P.C. grad, and former Provincial of the east coast province of Dominicans back home, the Province of St. Joseph.

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Currently, Fr. Izzo serves on the General Council of the Order and works closely with the Master General.  His position is known as “Socius”.

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Santa Sabina is a 5th century early Christian basilica built over the family home of St. Sabina. In the first century, the Aventine was the site of an affluent patrician neighborhood.  It is thought that Sabina was the patroness of a “house church” which means that Christians met at her home for prayer, worship, and celebration of the Eucharist.

Santa sabina 9

While explaining the art and architecture of this beautiful church,  Fr. Izzo also wove in the story of Dominic, his foundation of the Order, and his experiences while living in Rome.

Santa Sabina 12

After exploring the basilica, we went inside the residence or “convent” of the Dominicans.  This is where the cell of St. Dominic is located.  Transformed into a chapel, this room of Dominic made a deep impression on the students.  We said a prayer there together asking for Dominic’s help and inspiration.

Santa Sabina 6

Besides St. Dominic, there are other famous Dominicans who have lived at Santa Sabina.  A plaque on the wall listing former residents offers a veritable “Who’s Who” of Dominican history.  St. Albert the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas  and Pope St. Pius V all lived here at one time or another. We also saw  St. Pius V’s cell, which has been turned into a chapel as well.

Image result for santa sabina rome

I think it’s important for our students to get a sense of the international character of the Dominican Order, its history, legacy, and mission in the Church today.  Experiences like our tour of Santa Sabina should provide that. After all, a Friar is more than just a basketball mascot!

Santa Sabina 2015

 GO FRIARS!

 

  Providence College was founded in 1917 by the Dominican Order.  The Dominican Tradition has its origin in the life and ministry of St. Dominic de Guzman (1172 – 1221), the son of a Spanish noble, who founded one of the largest religious Orders in the Catholic Church.  His charismatic vision of a way of […]MORE

“We honor…Linus, Cletus, Clement…”

Posted by: on January 23, 2014   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

apse-mosaic San Clemente church 12th cent

Our course on the New Testament in the Eternal City includes not only classroom lectures, but also on site visits to particular places in Rome that are significant for Christian history, theology, and spirituality.  Our first site visit this semester was to the Church of San Clemente.  By tradition, St. Clement (92-101 AD) was a bishop in Rome who gave his life as a martyr for Christ. Fourth-century accounts speak of his forced labour in the mines during exile to the Crimea in the reign of the emperor Trajan (98-117 AD) and his missionary work there which prompted the Romans to bind him to an anchor and throw him into the Black Sea.  His relics were recovered and are under the main altar of the church.

According to the oldest list of Roman bishops, he was the third successor to St Peter in Rome (after Linus and Cletus). The First Eucharistic Prayer of the Mass, known as the “Roman Canon”, mentions St. Clement in the list of bishops and saints of Rome through whose merits and prayers the faithful seek help and protection.  The church in Rome dedicated to him is said to be built over a first century house which belonged to his family.

Interior-chapel San Clemente church 12th cent

The church of San Clemente is like a “layered cake” of archeological wonder.  The present basilica is from the 12th century, but underneath is a 5th century basilica and below that is a first century house, warehouse, and Mithraic temple.  These sites were excavated beginning in the 19th century under the guidance of an Irish Dominican priest, Fr. Mullooly, who was prior of San Clemente.  Indeed, the Irish Dominicans have been the custodians of San Clemente since the 17th century.  In this way, Providence College has a kind of “connection” with San Clemente since they are both Dominican institutions.  Our guide for the site visit was an American Dominican priest, Fr. Pius Pietrzyk, who is studying Canon Law here in Rome and is in residence at San Clemente.  Fr. Pius is an enthusiastic, polished, and entertaining tour guide of the treasures of San Clemente.  His remarks were full of fascinating information and inspiring reflections on the faith of the early Christians who made pilgrimage and worshipped at the basilica.  The students seemed to appreciate most his erudite knowledge of Christian iconography as he explained frescoes, mosaics, and paintings as well as the architecture of San Clemente.

Here are some quotes from the papers they wrote after our site visit:

“The three layers of the church of San Clemente represent distinct historical features  of Christianity as it evolved from the early third century to today in Rome.  These genuine artifacts demonstrate how religious belief in Rome has grown and changed, and contextualize the emergence and stories of Christianity with well-preserved art and architecture. Each layer represents what the central features of religion were at the time they were constructed.” Leanne Falzone

tufa-block-building San Clemente church 1st cent

“In the readings and the site visit to the Basilica of San Clemente we saw examples of God revealing himself on earth.  These examples are mainly in the Word of God and interpretations through pieces of art.  Through these stories we become more acclimated with God’s identity, character and call…  Through our reading, notes, and visit we get a strong understanding of the cultural and societal ways dating back to around the time of Jesus.”  Sam Scherer

“The Basilica of San Clemente and the New Testament tell us a story, both about the different time periods from which they come from and about the workings of Jesus and his disciples. The Basilica is composed of many different pieces from different time periods, while the New Testament has many authors who share the various events and teachings from Christ. Through the art of frescos and through writing both of these religious pieces demonstrate to us the stories of Jesus, and allow us to gain a better understanding of our faith and of the history that is behind it.” Brianna Fontaine right-aisle San Clemente 4th cent church

“The oldest known tabernacle-style altar is located in Saint Clement Basilica. Interestingly, it is decorated by an anchor. Taken in context, it references the tool used to drown St. Clement the martyr. This demonstrates the fact that ecclesial decorations are never meaningless. Statues, altars, and frescos tell important stories. Although they are wordless, depicted scenes are surely a way of portraying God’s words and deeds.” Maria McLaughlin  alleyway San Clemente church 1st cent

“St. Clements story is further depicted in the fresco… which… further explains his martyrdom… Analyzing these frescos helps Christians understand that St. Clement gave his life for the faith to show how strongly he believed in Jesus Christ… This further leads people to the faith because it proves that he was real and was not just a person from a story.  His actual relics are located under the altar of the basilica so it further shows the realness of the stories depicted in the frescos and New Testament.” Erin Mullane  the-miracle-of-the-black-sea San Clemente church

“Early Christians honored Saint Clement, our fourth pope, by dedicating the entire church to him. He died by having an anchor tied to his leg and was thrown into the Black Sea. There is an anchor on the baldacchino in San Clemente Church, signifying his martyrdom. The anchor is still used today to signify Christianity and is popular among young Christians as a trendy tattoo.” Sunness Jones  StClementMass San Clemente church

“In the Basilica of San Clemente the development of the paganism to Christianity is evident as one walks from the pagan temple to the 4th  century Basilica, to the 12th century Basilica. When examining the frescoes of the two basilicas, it is obvious that the New Testament teachings have had centuries to develop and come to fruition in the Western world. The frescoes are rich with stories of martyrs, saints, popes, and, of course, the passion of Jesus Christ. At this point in the 4th and later centuries, the Christians have established a more substantial footing in Rome and Christian theology has adopted its own approaches to good and evil, wisdom theology, and the end of time.” Brittany Ricci left-aisle San Clemente 4th cent church

“Some of these frescos I believe, were drawn to lead others to faith. They serve almost as propaganda, to persuade others to believe in God and all that he can do. One fresco in particular showed the importance of faith and the dedication that Saint Alexis had towards God. This saint devoted his life to God, and his story is depicted in a fresco that is in the San Clemente church.” Gianna Fournier the-legend-st-alexis San Clemente church

“Some churches still exist from the Roman Empire and reflect the Christian’s victory over the pagan religions.  One primary example is the Basilica of San Clemente, which was built on top of an ancient mithraeum, or an ancient temple of worship… This underground mithraeum had no windows to allow in light and had an altar with a depiction of Mithras’ conquest.  The fall of Mithraism led to the creation of a brand-new building for Christian worship… Eventually, the power of the word of the Christian God outlasted the Roman’s pagan religions.  Through the history of San Clemente, Christians can be reminded of the early Christian community’s progression.  The lower church of San Clemente provides evidence of the church’s success over pagan religions during the period of the Roman Empire.  It also represents the expansion of Christianity as the Roman Empire declined.” Sarah Wacik

altar-of-mithras San Clemente church 1st cent

” The fact that the lower church was built on top of the pagan temple is symbolic of the mission and values of Jesus Christ… the pagan temple and the church built directly on top are testaments to the changing theological mindset at the time. This transition was cemented in the creation of a new religious movement, embodied in Christ.” Lizeth Gonzalez the-mithraic-schoolroom San Clemente church 1st cent

“What seemed most powerful about this third layer, the upper church, was again symbolism and the representation of both the past, present, and future of faith. We saw this when examining the apse mosaic. In the center, Jesus is on the cross, surrounded by twelve doves representing the apostles. Father Pius explained the meaning of many other symbols in the mosaic; the cross, often called the tree, is omnipresent and reaching everywhere with the roots growing from the bottom; the peacocks stand for resurrection; the men and women doing everyday work remind followers of the importance of Jesus’ presence today, or in the present.” Sophia Bolt apse-mosaic San Clemente church 12th cent

“The Tree of Life goes throughout the apse because it shows how intertwined all life is and how it all relates back to God through his deed of creation. Directly above Jesus is the Dome of Heaven and the Hand of God. This iconography represents God’s revelation to Jesus, and therefore Revelation to mankind. It is only through the Hand of God that divine human nature and divine nature could be manifested. It is only through Jesus that mankind could become fully aware of the Creator and understand that creating a closer relationship to God was the most important part of life because the more love and faith that one showed in the Creator, the more he would reveal himself.” Mike Humphreys

“After exploring through the three levels of the basilica, I found that the central mosaic apse of the upper level was the most memorable aspect of the church for me. Not only was I captivated by its regal beauty and colorful mosaic art, but after hearing and reading about its significance to the basilica, I learned to appreciate this center piece of San Clemente even more. By having Jesus on the cross as the center of this twelfth century masterpiece surrounded by various symbols in a background of gold, one can conclude that Christians highly valued certain symbols to signify important aspects of their faith at the time.” Catherine McLean

“San Clemente’s mosaic is a prominent and iconic image connecting the images of the Church in the modern world to illustrated Paradise…the apostles are twelve sheep that face toward the Lamb of God. The tree of life is above the lambs and below the cross. The cross represents the wood of the tree and the tree represents Christ in the garden of eternity. The branches of the tree extend to the entire universe, and the fruit of the tree is the Eucharist. The vine springs from the foot of the cross with acanthus leaves, while the rivers of Paradise flow down from the cross. The deer yearn for running water, exemplifying the call of the human race. God wants us humans to have faith and create relationships with him. The deer yearning for running water can be translated as the souls of the faithful thirsting for the lord. The outside of this shows the present which represents the tree of life, connecting the eschatological past to the present and future with Christ in the center of it all.” Veronika Abkarian

Go Friars!

 

 

 

Our course on the New Testament in the Eternal City includes not only classroom lectures, but also on site visits to particular places in Rome that are significant for Christian history, theology, and spirituality.  Our first site visit this semester was to the Church of San Clemente.  By tradition, St. Clement (92-101 AD) was a […]MORE

In The Footsteps of St. Dominic

Posted by: on October 27, 2013   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

This past week we enjoyed a surprise visit from Fr. Ken Sicard, O.P., the Executive Vice President of Providence College.  Fr. Ken was in town for meetings of the Economic Council of the worldwide Dominican Order.  He stopped in to the PC/CEA Center to see the new premises, greet students, and get to know our Rome Program better.

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The students really appreciated the fact that Fr. Ken took the time to visit. They were able to share with him the good things that have been happening here this semester and to learn about how things are going back home on campus.  Indeed, his visit helped all of us to feel connected to Providence.  Having a Dominican visit our Rome Program highlights the Dominican identity of Providence College.    20131027-091006.jpg

Providence College was founded in 1917 by the Dominican Order.  The Dominican Tradition has its origin in the life and ministry of St. Dominic de Guzman (1172 – 1221), the son of a Spanish noble, who founded one of the largest religious Orders in the Catholic Church.  His charismatic vision of a way of responding to the needs of the Church in the thirteenth century led to the establishment of the Order of Preachers –popularly known as  the Dominicans.

One of my priorities this year as Faculty Resident Director is to look for ways to enhance the Dominican Mission of our Program here. Exploring the Dominican charism through publications, conference papers, and keynote addresses around the country has been part of my academic pursuit since being hired at Providence College.  And so my time in Rome has given me the opportunity to introduce our students to the Dominican tradition in very direct and tangible ways.   In addition to bringing the students for a tour of Santa Sabina, the international headquarters of the Order, as was done in the last two semesters of PC Rome,  I’ve been working on expanding our “Dominican-related activities”.  To that end, here’s what I’ve done:

Our Academic Colloquium in October was given by Fr. Alejandro Crosthwaite, O.P. from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum).

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Last week, Fr. Pius Pietrzyk, O.P., a doctoral student in Canon Law at the Angelicum, led us on a Site Visit of St. Peter’s Basilica.

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And on Sunday, Fr. Dominic Izzo, O.P., Socius for the USA,  celebrated a Mass with us in the Cell of St. Dominic at Santa Sabina.  20131027-143354.jpg

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In November, Fr. Michael Mascari, O.P., Socius for the Intellectual Life of the Order, will lead an extensive Site Visit of the Basilica and Convent of Santa Sabina for our Program.

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I think it’s important for our students to get a sense of the international character of the Dominican Order, its history, legacy, and mission in the Church today.  These experiences should provide that. After all, a Friar is more than just a basketball mascot!  20131027-091542.jpg

 

 Go Friars!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past week we enjoyed a surprise visit from Fr. Ken Sicard, O.P., the Executive Vice President of Providence College.  Fr. Ken was in town for meetings of the Economic Council of the worldwide Dominican Order.  He stopped in to the PC/CEA Center to see the new premises, greet students, and get to know our […]MORE