Exploring treasures of Italy through academic study

With the help of The Lay Centre and Loyola University Chicago’s John Felice Rome Center, the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University brought 16 graduate students from various degree programs and a few guests to Rome for two academic courses: Church and Mission, a required ecclesiology class for many of their master’s degree students, and Christian Doctrine Through Art and Architecture, a specialized elective.

The courses allowed students to explore the treasures of Italy. In addition to their course lectures, various experts in Rome shared with the students their profound knowledge and insights.  Influential voices at Vatican Radio, the Holy See Press Office, the Centro Pro Unione, the Pontifical Beda College, and the Jewish ghetto supplemented more traditional tours of San Clemente, the catacombs, and the Capitoline and Vatican Museums.

Liturgical events at the tomb of St. Peter, with the Sant’Egidio community in Trastevere, at the Basilica of Sts. John and Paul with the Passionist Fathers, as well as the papal procession from the Cathedral of St. John Lateran to the Basilica of St. Mary Major on the feast of Corpus Christi made lasting impressions on the both students and their professors.

Students in the art class spent some time pondering the birthplace of the Renaissance in Florence, while the ecclesiology class studied the relationship between faith and reason during a private tour of the Vatican Observatory in Castel Gandolfo (see photo above).

The course offerings in Rome have become an important annual event for the Institute of Pastoral Studies, which continues to grow into a cornerstone of its curriculum offerings.

Those interested in participating to receive credit in another graduate program or as an auditor for personal enrichment are asked to contact Professor Michael Canaris (mcanaris@luc.edu), a Lay Centre alumnus.


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