Summer Theology Program in Italy

Several relatives, acquaintances, and former students of mine (with master's degrees in theology) are organizing and running a two week program of theology in Norcia, Italy, which is located in the mountains not far from Rome and Assisi. The prior of the Benedictine Monastery in Norcia, Fr. Cassian Folsom, who taught many years at St. Anselmo in Rome, served as president of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute, and was recently appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as an official consulter for the Congregation of Divine Worship, will also contribute to the program. Knowing the outstanding intellectual ability of many of those involved in it, and looking at the proposal, I must say that it looks to be an excellent event for those who have the time and resources.

The topic of the program is sacramental theology, with particular emphasis on the Eucharist, but also covering baptism, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. From the Mission Statement:

The St. Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies is an organization dedicated to the revival of higher studies in theology undertaken according to the mind and method of the great scholastics.

This purpose is realized principally through the regular hosting of two-week long Summer programs, in which participants are invited to an intensive course of studies in Catholic theology presented in the form of the great Catholic universities of the high Middle Ages. Unique to these programs is the combination of scholastic form and content, namely the study of St. Thomas Aquinas in the way that St. Thomas himself would have studied. Hence the dedication of the Center to his own teacher, St. Albert the Great.

Elements of the program include lectures, seminar-style discussions, and the highlight, the scholastic disputation, in which teachers and participants address a particular question of theology, posing various arguments for and against a particular answer to the question, after which one of the masters of theology organizes and orders the arguments, gives an ordered answer to the question, and responds to or clarifies the arguments raised in objection or in support of the answer.

The program runs from June 20th to July 1st, 2011. In addition to the studies, daily Mass and Offices with the Benedictine Monks of Norcia are offered, and several optional outings are planned, including a trip to Rome on the Feast of Corpus Christi for the Eucharistic procession and adoration with the Holy Father.

The cost of the program is $975, which includes room and board (breakfast and one other full meal) in Norcia, and tuition for the two week period.

Read more about the 2011 Summer Program. (Link removed, as the page about the 2011 summer program is no longer available — link to the page about the most recent, 2016 Summer Program.)

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