Founders

Donna Orsuto, director

Donna Orsuto is a professor of spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Originally from the United States, she also lectures and gives retreats worldwide. She has authored two books and numerous articles in the area of spirituality. Dr. Orsuto is active in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. She currently serves as a consultor for the Congregation for Divine Worship and on the Women’s Consultation Group of the Pontifical Council for Culture. She is also a member of the Commission for Ecumenism and Dialogue of the Diocese of Rome. Pope Benedict XVI named her a Dame of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Gregory the Great in 2011.

 

Riekie van Velzen, administrator

Riekie van Velzen is an artist, whose work ranges from iconography and ancient painting techniques to digital. Her pieces are exhibited in private collections worldwide and her sacred works have been commissioned for several Italian churches. Through art, she also raises awareness about ecology. A native of the Netherlands, she is a proud grandmother and the mother of two. She and her husband recently moved “back to nature,” outside Rome, where they grow fruit trees and a vegetable garden. Pope Benedict XVI named her a Dame of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Sylvester in 2011.

 

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