The resident community of university students and visiting professors is at the heart of The Lay Centre.

Since its foundation in 1986, The Lay Centre at Foyer Unitas has been welcoming lay students from various nationalities, Christian denominations and religious traditions.

The student community is at the heart of The Lay Centre.


A Life of Faith, Learning, Dialogue and Community.

The Catholic Church teaches that the mission of the laity flows from baptism. Committed to promoting the lay vocation in the Church and in the world, The Lay Centre offers its students cultural, spiritual, and social activities, intended to complement their academic studies and to equip them for a future of leadership and service.

Life at The Lay Centre includes opportunities for daily communal prayer, to which all residents are welcome. Eucharist is celebrated weekly; non-Catholic residents are free to take part or not. The chapel, in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved, is open at all times.

The Lay Centre organizes theological lectures throughout the year. Prominent figures in the Church and academia are invited regularly to join the resident community at weekly Mass and at mealtimes. The friendly and simple atmosphere, created in sharing a meal together, is truly conducive to dialogue and learning.

Excursions in and around Rome are planned for residents to enrich their knowledge of culture, history and art.

The Lay Centre’s spirit of service includes caring for each other in daily community life and volunteering to assist Rome’s poor and marginalized.

In addition to this program of formation, residence at The Lay Centre includes full room and board. Staff is on hand to assist students with practical questions about life in Rome.

Located in central Rome, The Lay Centre is within a short distance of the various pontifical universities. Its quiet and beautiful surroundings are ideal for academic study and make it an oasis in the heart of the bustling city.

Fundamental to The Lay Centre since its founding is the welcome of Catholic, Anglican, Protestant and Orthodox students. In recent years, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist students have joined in this profound experience of dialogue.

This diverse presence helps to promote a “dialogue of life” in which all interact on a daily basis with mutual respect, patience, openness and a spirit of good will.

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