The Lay Centre was delighted to facilitate a November pilgrimage to Rome for more than 40 Catholic foundations and donors from U.S.-based FADICA (Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities). FADICA members are Catholic donors seeking to support a vibrant Church and the common good. The pilgrimage offered them opportunities for prayer, reflection and dialogue with Church leadership.
The Lay Centre, in partnership with FADICA, facilitated timely meetings with prominent Vatican and Rome-based Catholic leaders on diverse issues and future collaborative opportunities regarding formation in a 21st-century Church, child protection, refugees, migrants, and human trafficking. The Lay Centre was instrumental in arranging a number of these meetings.
FADICA members participated in a workshop on child protection, led by Father Hans Zollner, SJ, and Dr. Karolin Kuhn, SSND, from the Centre for Child Protection of the Pontifical Gregorian University. Catholic education was highlighted in a special way on the last day of the pilgrimage, when the FADICA delegation visited the Congregation for Catholic Education. To conclude, the topic of Catholic leadership for the Earth was discussed at length.
The pilgrimage was a unique experience of fellowship and faith. Bishop Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, celebrated the opening Mass at the Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva; Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, celebrated a very early morning Mass at the Tomb of St. Peter in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica; and Father Aloysious Mowe, SJ, international director of advocacy and communications for Jesuit Refugee Service, celebrated the Mass at the end of an afternoon retreat, held at The Lay Centre. The FADICA delegation also attended the Wednesday General Audience and met Pope Francis.
In addition to time for prayer, the delegation had opportunities to enjoy the art treasures of Rome, including a private visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, as well as a visit to the Borghese Gallery.