At the blessing of Catholic University’s campus near the Vatican, University Provost Andrew Abela described the efforts that led to the center as “first and foremost God’s work.”
Speaking Sunday, Sept. 25, in the chapel of the Rome Center of The Catholic University of America and Australian Catholic University (ACU), Abela said, “We are here today to commit all of our endeavors at the Rome Center to God’s care and we pray with the Psalmist, 'Not to us, Lord, but to your name give glory.' ”
Joining Abela at the blessing were other administrators from Catholic University and ACU as well as members of the Catholic University Board of Trustees. Abela noted that the creation of the Rome Center “has been a three-continent, multi-year endeavor. It came to be through the efforts of many people … ”
In giving the blessing, Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy and former archbishop of Sydney, said, “We dedicate this Rome study center to the education of youth, to the progress of the sciences and to learning. Make it become a center where students and faculty, imbued with the words of truth, will search for the wisdom that guides the Christian life and strive wholeheartedly to stand by Christ as their teacher; who loves and reigns forever and ever.”
Professor Greg Craven, vice-chancellor and president of ACU, also addressed those gathered for the blessing of the campus, which opened last fall. Located at Via Garibaldi 28 on Rome’s Janiculum Hill, just above the ancient Roman neighborhood of Trastevere, the one-acre property has a six-floor building surrounded by a 19th-century garden.
Prior to the blessing, Cardinal Pell celebrated Mass in the chapel. A reception and tour of the campus followed the blessing.
The blessing coincides with a meeting of the Catholic University trustees in Rome. On Tuesday, Sept. 27, members of the board will meet with the Congregation for Catholic Education, the pontifical congregation of the Roman Curia responsible for universities, faculties, institutes, and higher schools of study as well as schools and educational institutes depending on ecclesiastical authorities.
The Rome Center brings together the leading Catholic universities in the United States and Australia. The agreement builds upon a long-standing relationship between the two universities that has previously allowed Catholic University students to study in Australia and ACU students to study in Washington. For the last seven years, The Catholic University of America School of Nursing has had a reciprocal exchange program with the ACU School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine.