Looking beyond ourselves, the “Peripheries in Our Lives”

By Donna Orsuto   

“Look at the stars more often. When something weighs on your soul, look at the stars or the blue sky. When you feel sad, when they offend you, when things do not work out…. go out into the open air and converse alone with Heaven. Then your soul will find rest.”             Pavel A. Florenskij

I have been in Mdina, Malta, “the city of silence,” this week.  The star-studded sky at night and the bright blue skies in the day reminded me of this quote from Pavel Florenskij (1882-1937), the Russian Orthodox intellectual and martyr.  It is an invitation to look beyond ourselves, to move out of our comfort zones, to seek answers, to let the light of truth and wisdom illuminate the still unexplored peripheries in our lives and universe.

Soon, I will be heading back to Rome and I look forward to the new academic year as we open the doors of The Lay Centre to our resident scholars and friends, new and old, who will join us for the six-week Thursday morning autumn program, “Peripheries in Our Lives.”

Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, recently appointed director at the Anglican Centre in Rome and the representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Holy See, will open the series on 19 OCTOBER. He will be followed, on  23 OCTOBER, by Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J., director of the Vatican Observatory, who will be taking us on a journey into our universe and beyond with his presentation, “Peripheries in the Sky.”

The series will continue with other eminent speakers, including Abbot Edmund Power, OSB, who will focus on the theme, “The Last Periphery: Death?”

Father Drew Christiansen, S.J., and Carole Sargent, Ph.D., both of Georgetown University, will address the topic, “On the Peripheries: Exploring the Paths to Nuclear Zero.” Father Thomas Smolich, S.J., international executive director of the Jesuit Refugee Service will speak on “Peripheries in our Cities.”

Stay tuned!

Keep an eye on our social media for more details.

And in the meantime, take a look at the stars!


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