By Luca Badetti
ROME — Graduate students of Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) journeyed to Rome, June 18-28, as part of their studies. Various aspects of their time in Rome were facilitated by The Lay Centre.
The students of IPS courses “Church and Mission” and “Spirituality of Pilgrimage and the Contexts of Faith,” taught respectively by Dr Michael Canaris and Dr William Schmidt, explored Roman sites, and experienced firsthand what the city has to offer, connecting this experience to their academic studies.
The group’s time in Rome included visits to the Church of the Gesù, mother church of the Society of Jesus; St Peter’s Basilica, where Mass was celebrated at the tomb of St Peter; the Basilica of St Clement, a minor basilica dedicated to Pope Clement I; the archaeological site of Ostia Antica, Ancient Rome’s seaport; and Castel Gandolfo, a scenic town overlooking Lake Albano where the Vatican Observatory is headquartered.
The group also visited The Lay Centre, the Centro Pro Unione, and the Community of Sant’Egidio, which are all active in promoting ecumenical dialogue in Rome.
As their time in Rome drew to a close, the group visited the chapel of St Paul of the Cross in the Basilica of Sts John and Paul, where a closing Mass was celebrated, and then shared dinner at The Lay Centre.
The Lay Centre has facilitated IPS’ Roman stay in the past. Assistant Professor Canaris was a member of The Lay Centre community (2014-2015), while working on his postdoctoral licentiate in sacred theology at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas; his area of study was ecumenism.