The Lay Centre welcomed two guests from the Vatican on 18 January, our last Wednesday community evening in the first semester of the academic year 2016-2017. Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and Dr. Maria Cristina Carlo-Stella, head (capo ufficio) of the Office of the Fabbrica di San Pietro.
The Congregation for Divine Worship is a Vatican dicastery that promotes and regulates Catholic liturgy and the celebration of the sacraments. The “Fabbrica”, instead, is the entity responsible for preservation, maintenance and enhancement of Saint Peter’s Basilica, in the Vatican. Both guests joined us for Mass and dinner.
Archbishop Roche presided over the Eucharist and, after the celebration, he handed over to Donna Orsuto a letter of nomination as consultant to the Congregation for Divine Worsphip from Pope Francis. Donna Orsuto is director of The Lay Centre and professor of Spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University. This nomination was publicized on Saturday, 13 January. Roche, who has worked in the Congregation for five years, noted that Donna is the first woman to take on such a role in that dicastery since its foundation, 400 years ago.
Dr. Carlo-Stella is a remarkable example of female leadership in the Church. An art-historian working at the Vatican for 25 years, she has been a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church as well. Over dinner, some of our residents who study History and Cultural Heritage at the Gregorian University had the chance to talk to her about the work at the “Fabbrica”.