Entitled “The Year of Mercy: A Dynamic Exchange between Catholic Higher Education and the Curia,” the weeklong program was an opportunity for presidents and administrators to explore the intellectual and spiritual legacy of the Catholic Church, in order to strengthen and promote the mission of Catholic higher education.
Over the week, participants met several authorities from different dicasteries of the Roman Curia: the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for the Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
Moreover, participants had a firsthand opportunity to visit many historic and artistic sites of Rome and surrounding areas. One of the highlights was a private visit to the Redemptoris Mater Chapel, located inside the apostolic palace, in the Vatican. They also attended a public papal audience with Pope Francis.
Prayer and spiritual meditation are also a crucial part of the program. ACCU Rome Seminar participants had the chance to pass through the Holy Door at Saint Peter’s Basilica and to attend Mass at the apostle’s tomb.
On the footsteps of St. Benedict of Norcia, they visited Subiaco, located outside Rome, where the founder of Western monastic life and the father of Benedictine education had his first mystical experience.
Back in Rome, they had Mass in the room of St. Ignatius of Loyola, allowing the presidents and administratos of Catholic educational institutions to pray in the place where the founder of the Jesuits, who today run many institutions of higher learning, lived and died.
The program takes place every year. It is organized in collaboration with The Lay Centre. This year, 40 representatives, including presidents, vice-presidents, directors and deans from 13 different institutions of Catholic higher education, participated.