Building on the ecumenical legacy of Foyer Unitas

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Prof Teresa Rossi tells The Lay Centre’s resident community the story of her call to working in the field of ecumenism. Photo: Anish Joy

By Filipe Domingues

The Lay Centre‘s ecumenical mission is its inheritance from Foyer Unitas, where The Lay Centre began, and the Dutch religious institute that operated it, the Ladies of Bethany. As well, The Lay Centre’s first location was in a building on Piazza Navona, shared with the Centro Pro Unione, which promotes ecumenical dialogue in Rome.

Yesterday, our resident community was very happy to welcome the director of the Centro Pro Unione, Fr Jim Puglisi, SA, and its associate director, Prof Teresa Rossi, for Mass and dinner. Both are longtime friends of The Lay Centre.

Spending time with them, during a very informal and friendly community evening in the Easter season, helped us to strenghten our bonds of friendship. As the psalmist says, “How good, how pleasant it is for brothers to live together in harmony.”

After the meal, Prof Rossi offered a word of encouragement to the laymen and laywomen studying theology and ecumenism in Rome – a minority in a a very ecclesiastic environment. She told us the story of how God led her to understand that promoting Christian unity was her vocation. Nowadays, in addition to working at the Centro Pro Unione, she teaches ecumenism at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum).

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